124 Tasting Notes
Tonight I blended this with Russian Caravan black tea from Capital Teas, because when I had the chai alone last night there was no tea flavor to accompany the masala spices. The blend was a HUGE improvement.
I used 1 heaping tablespoon of Rooibos Vanilla Chai and about half to three-quarters of a tablespoon of Russian Caravan. (And like last night, I made it with a bit of rock sugar and half-and-half.) The resulting drink had a much fuller-bodied flavor than the chai produces alone. Very tasty! I will definitely be doing this again (perhaps experimenting with other blends).
This chai has masala spices, but it’s rooibos so there’s no caffeine. That is very appealing to me, because I’ve always associated masala chai with nighttime (perhaps because I’ve had it at dinner at Indian restaurants). It’d be nice to be able to consume it in the evening without worrying about caffeine.
I made this with a little rock sugar and half-and-half. The good news is that the masala spices are perfect. The bad news is that it tastes like there’s no tea underneath the spices. I only steeped this for about 4.5 minutes, so my next step is to try steeping it longer. If that doesn’t bring out a tea flavor, then perhaps this blending it with another tea will. (Maybe with a black tea? It will defeat the caffeine-free appeal of this, but the spices are excellent so I wouldn’t mind trading caffeine for a version with more flavor.)
My first sip of this was delicious, which was a relief because the smell wasn’t very appetizing. The caramel flavor wasn’t too overwhelming and it enhanced the green tea nicely. However, less than halfway through the cup the flavor suddenly became bland. Did my taste buds just habituate to the subtle flavor? I’m not sure what caused the change, but it was disappointing given how good the first few sips were. I’ll have to have it again (perhaps making it stronger) to see if the same thing happens.
I bought this tea quite a while ago, and because it was so expensive I tried to only have it when I knew I could steep it at least three times (hoping to get “my money’s worth”). Sadly, that led me to neglect this tea, not using it while it was at its freshest…
I LOVED this when I first got it, but when I had it last week I found it a little sharp. I recently tried Teavana’s Phoenix Mountain Oolong, which is smooth and relaxing. It could be that this has aged a little too much, or my taste has simply become more refined with time (I bought this soon after I began exploring loose-leaf tea).
I had this tea a few days ago, so my memory is a little rusty. This is a good oolong, but the taste of the first steep was a little too leafy for me. The second steep was softer, but suffered for being less flavorful at the same time. I’ve read that sometimes you should quickly “rinse” leaves with hot water before steeping them, and I think I’ll try that with these leaves next time (hoping to get a flavor somewhere between what I tasted with the two steeps this time).
(I just realized that I’ve actually tried this tea before, and looking at my first log my impression seems to be pretty similar. Nice to know that my taste is consistent.)
I had Teavana’s Phoenix Mountain Oolong just a few days before trying this one again, and that one was so smooth that this one hurt by contrast. But I think I will try the “rinsing” method with this to get the right balance.
(Tea from silentrequiem. Thanks!)
I recently tried this tea again with just sugar, and I definitely find it more palatable than I did the first time. The beet flavor no longer bothers me (and it really helps to drink it in a black mug, so I can’t see the color). While the sugar improves the flavor, it’s almost “sickly sweet” in a way. I should be able to finish what I have, but I definitely won’t be buying this again.
I’ve decided that I really like this tea. I brought it to work and while it didn’t taste as good as the tea I make at home (something about the water, perhaps? It’s the same with all the teas I make at work), I still found it delicious. I steeped it twice (the second one tasted nearly identical to the first), and the second time I didn’t get to touch the glass for about an hour after steeping it due to a meeting. Surprisingly, it still tasted quite good at room temperature.
Mmmmm this is good! Silentrequiem sent me a sample of this in bagged form, and it’s quite good. It doesn’t need sugar; the cinnamon and clove provide excellent flavor. The black tea taste isn’t strong at all, which is fine with me because I enjoyed the spices a great deal. This tea is perfect to put you in an autumn mood.