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Recent Tasting Notes
Santea Clause Traveling Tea Box
Brewed stove-top. Brought to a boil, simmered for five minutes, added milk and sugar, brought to a boil again.
Surprisingly, this is quite spicy, even with milk and sugar. It’s the spiciest ready-made CTC masala chai blend I’ve ever had – those before might as well have been just black tea (disappointingly). There’s a little too much ginger for my taste. Otherwise it’s pretty good.
Before adding condensed milk (I use condensed milk to flavor my black teas):
It’s a black tea so of course it’s a little on the bitter side. But this is one of more smoother black tea combos I’ve tried. I think it’s because of the mint and the chocolate. You can hardly taste the chocolate in this at all though. I also drink black tea every morning to help me wake up! The mint in this tea though kind of soothes me and makes me want to crawl back under my covers.
After adding condensed milk:
The chocolate notes came out after I added the condensed milk and the tea became too sweet. I will definitely make this next time without condensed milk and just add some good old fashioned milk!
Not the tastiest black tea I’ve had but definitely one of the smoothest!
Flavors: Mint, Sweet
These little sachets of Chocolate Chai from Chai Diaries are really hit or miss as far as the chocolate is concerned. By chance, I happened to select two sachets without any chocolate chips in them at all, and with lots of big chunks of ginger. Guess what? The brew tastes like Ginger Chai!
I cannot say that I am particularly fond of chunk o’ food blends à la Teavana, and chocolate chips are of course food, and in this case they have all turned white—as does all chocolate with age and exposure to air. However, in this blend it does seem to be the chocolate chips which provide the bulk of the chocolate flavor, which suggests that the company needs to work on its production process so that each sachet has some of everything: black tea, ginger, cardamom (another case where some sachets contain a cardamom pod, while others contain none), chocolate chips, dessicated ginger, and other spices.
Otherwise, they should change the name to Luck o’ the Draw Chai!
For some reason, I am not tasting any chocolate in Chai Diaries Chocolate Chai. This is a spicy chai, and I’d have guessed that there’s more than just cardamom and ginger involved on the spice front—maybe clove and pepper, too? But what I do not detect at all is the chocolate, which is said to be present in two forms: chocolate chips and chocolate flavoring.
The black tea base is pretty good. In fact, I drank this chai with only a bit of half and half, though this is the one type of blend which I generally drink sweetened. Good to know that there’s a spicy chai out there that I can imbibe without adding a huge dollop of sweetened condensed milk!
I might try a custom-blend combination of one sachet of Harney & Sons Valentine’s Blend (a chocolate-flavored black tea) with one sachet of Chocolate Chai. Maybe that will amp up the chocolate to the point of being detectable by me… It could be that the ginger and cardamom are just overwhelming the chocolate here. I may also be partly at fault, since I was a eating a brownie before drinking this tea. Seemed like a good idea at the time…
(Blazing New Rating #64)
For a tea that smells like literal chai heaven in package this tea was one heck of a let down. Seriously. Huge let down. It’s missing something important that give chai it’s spicy, complex uniqueness. Without it this chai is just very bland, and sadly I’ve had better chai from a bag.
It doesn’t help that I’ve been all chai’d and black tea’d out fir the last year and half either. Even my chai obsessed nephew wasn’t impressed with this one. Overall it’s a good comforting tea that will by no means, knock your socks off. Buts it’s still good to have in the cupboard for those chilly afternoons.
I brewed up a glass of this gringo pu-erh blend today, after yesterday’s first ever pure pu-erh experience. I was happy with my little tuo cha, which seemed to want to be reinfused over and over again. I called it quits after three servings, but I am pretty sure that it would have lasted many more.
I was thinking about pu-erh blends such as this Wisdom Pu-erh Chai, which present some questions to my mind. For one thing, how can they be rinsed without removing some of the flavors? Or perhaps they do not require a rinse? It’s strange because the chunks of tea in this sachet do look like broken off pieces of Pu-erh from a cake, along with some dried leaves. So it does look like pu-erh to me.
Another question is whether pu-erh blends should be adulterated with cream. My understanding is that people drink pure pu-erh straight, without any adulterants. Is that right? I ask because this blend tastes better with cream, so I gave it a bit of a douse.
The color is much redder than most black teas I’ve seen. It’s not a red amber, but more like a reddish gray liquor—once the cream has been added. It tastes pretty good, but I think that I’ll probably refrain from buying many more pu-erh blends in the future, given my positive experience with pure pu-erh yesterday.
I decided to try Chai Diaries Wisdom Pu-erh Chai with almond-coconut milk today. The variant I favor has only 45 calories per cup (35 of which are from fat), and is unsweetened. The outcome was not as good as my recent glass using light cream. I suspect that this tea would be much better brewed directly in the almond-coconut milk, rather than brewed first and then diluted. The milk is too light (especially relative to light cream, which packs a mighty 40 calories per tablespoon, so about 500 per cup!), so the resultant liquor was a cloudy tawny color and not stout and creamy enough for my taste.
I picked up a can of Chai Diaries Wisdom Pu-erh Chai out of curiosity—though I confess that the brand sounded a bit gimmicky to me—and brewed up my first sachet of this blend today. The liquor is dark red, and I was seriously considering the possibility of adding almond-coconut milk but decided instead to adulterate using the usual suspect (light cream) so that I would not be distracted by that change in evaluating the quality of the tea.
It’s good. A pleasant pu-erh blend (as in: not fishy at all, and more about the flavorings than the earthy base tea). Again, I am finding that complex pu-erh blends overlap with Assam blends to some extent. Certainly the tea itself is strong, which is to my liking, but it is less malty than Assam. I like this blend, finding that it compares favorably with the Numi Pu-erh blends. The flavorings are not of the standard “chai”—there is no cardamom or clove or cinnamon or black pepper. Instead, we have almonds, star anise, licorice, ginger root, and then some fruit flavors (mango and berry)—all seamlessly blended. The text on the cylinder explains that “chai” just means “tea”, but no insight is offered into what these specific flavors might have to do with wisdom…
The company boasts the use of only natural flavorings, which is always a good thing. My cylinder contains twenty (now nineteen) pyramid sachets containing a nice looking larger leaf blend. I’d like to try their chocolate chai, given this positive experience, and also their loose leaf version of one or more of their teas. And perhaps I shall!
I’m going to have to give an official rating later. I think I steeped it too long and lost the chocolate flavor. I can still kinda taste it. The chai is good though. It doesn’t have that spicy kick I like but the flavors are enough for me to look past that.
Going to add some chocolate almond milk and warm it up…
Too hot… but good!
I received this in the box of samples I purchased from LiberTEAS. Thank you!
I have been avoiding quite a few tisanes do to hibiscus, and rose petal, so when I saw this in the box I was a bit nervous. I brewed this up per the instructions last night. This was really good. Very orange, but I couldn’t pick out the flavors of the ingredients I tend to shy away from. Everything blended together nicely to make a very fruity treat. I drank this hot last night, but I think this would be really good cold as well.
This is a really nice Tisane … I like that it’s not overloaded with hibiscus! That’s always a plus in my book.
There is some hibiscus in it, but, it isn’t overpowering the blend. It doesn’t turn the brewed tisane into a thick, syrupy mess. That’s a good thing. I’d rather drink tea … not a thick, syrupy mess, thank you.
The vanilla in this adds a delightful sweet, creamy note, and together with the sweet, blood orange notes, it comes across a little like a melted creamsicle in a teacup. Nice. Delicious, and sweet enough to be a late night treat without consuming additional sugar.
Here’s my full-length review of it: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/05/07/blood-orange-tisane-from-chai-diaries/
A really, really good chai! The most surprising thing about that is that this is a sacheted chai! I didn’t expect a sachet chai to taste so good … but there you have it. (Note: while I didn’t prepare it stovetop method, the fact that this IS a sacheted chai would make the clean up that I HATE with the stovetop method – and therefore I seldom prepare chai this way – the sachet would make it so much easier to do!)
Anyway … this is a very flavorful chai. The black tea could be a little more on the assertive side, I think, but it does manage to stand well on its own, and it provides a really nice base for the spices. A lovely cinnamon flavor here. I love the creamy vanilla tones!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/04/25/bombay-masala-chai-from-chai-diaries/
In the bag, oh god, rich and pungent. Every note of the aroma–cinnamon, green cardamom, ginger, and vanilla, according to the ingredients list–is as raucous as the streets of Mumbai, fiercely proud of who it is and what it represents. Already, Chai Diaries is starting off strong.
Unfortunately, the brewing instructions lead to oversteepage. It says 5-7 minutes, and erring on the side of 7 led to a disappointing cup of Nope, Does Not Work. Luckily, it’s forgiving enough that the tea wasn’t mouth-wrenchingly horrible–just monosyllabic. With such a letdown for what seemed to be a vivacious, promising tea, it had to be re-tried. Everyone deserves a second chance. Even your crazy ex. (Though only one second chance, do you hear me? Not two. Not three. Just one. Otherwise it’s your own dang fault.)
The good news is that shorter infusions turn out much better. What’s remarkable about this chai is…
Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/07/snooty-tea-review-chai-diaries/
Please don’t pair this with anything, just enjoy on its own. Full review here: http://snooteablog.com/2013/07/07/snooty-tea-review-chai-diaries/