David Rio

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Recent Tasting Notes

70

Oddly enough, I normally like green chais just a little more than the blacks on occasion. I got this at one of the coffee shops I used to go to in East Lansing (now closed, which greatly irks me!) and I would get it with steamed almond milk. It is really good with that combo. I could see why it might be better with regular milk, because this latte mix is very sweet, gingery, and green. Yet that might depend on preference.

This is the chai for green tea lovers, especially green tea with some sort of cream and sweetener. The biggest drawback is how sweet it is, and possibly the ingredients for people who want to eat cleaner.

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Backlog.

Blech. Of course, as I was writing “blech”, I actually looked at the teabag wrapper, and apparently this is a green tea…… whoops. So perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to judge, since the boiling water I poured on it yesterday might have been a touch harsh. My recollection is of astringent vague-berriness… so perhaps I wouldn’t like it even if brewed correctly, but hopefully I have another one of these somewhere to give it a second chance. I feel like I may have done this to the tea previously as well…

teataku

You’re not alone. I’ve definitely ruined a few cups for myself that way…

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77
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
1747 tasting notes

Bleh, it’s wet and miserable outside today so I treated myself to a chai latté. This is apparently David Rio’s default mix and it’s quite nice, I had it will 2 oz boiling water and about 6 oz hot skim milk that I’d given a bit of a froth. The downside of using skim is that it doesn’t stay foamy for very long due to the lower fat content, but that means I just have to be quick about enjoying my latté, right? ;)

There’s a good , well-balanced mix of spices and it gives this mix a pleasent warmth. It’s maybe a bit sweeter than I care for but most mixes are I’ve found (I’m the person who always has her sbux drinks half-sweet). It’s a nice mix to have on hand for days when you don’t want to fiddle with making chai the old-school way.

Fjellrev

How do you heat/froth your milk anyway? I’ve been far too lazy to make a proper latte despite the fact I purchased an IKEA handheld milk frother months ago.

Jillian

I usually just heat the milk in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave (just be careful that it doesn’t boil) and use a hand-held frother to whip it up and pour it into the tea (or the mix in this case) in my drinking mug. I also usually add a bit of boiling water (usually like 1/4 cup) to the mug first to raise the temperature.

Fjellrev

Ok cool, thanks, that seems like the best way, really.

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Brewed this with cashew milk and it was incredibly sweet. This is definitely best paired with traditional milk.

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I brewed this up the same way I made the Elephant Vanilla Chai and I expected something more green tea tasting. In reality I just got a less vanilla-y version of the elephant chai. Weird but delicious! Thanks Roswell Strange.

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drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
2370 tasting notes

So I realized today what I was really tasting…snickerdoodles complete with vanilla icing. Oh so delicious. Thank you for sharing Roswell Strange!! I think I may be taking a trip to Sobeys to get more of this in the future.

Roswell Strange

I’ve decided I’m gonna mix this into some frosting for cupcakes next time I made them. Either Butter Pecan with Chai icing or Chocolate with Chai…

VariaTEA

Both would be pretty tasty. I’m more partial for butter pecan but only because I’m not a huge lover of chocolate cake. However chocolate chai is pretty tasty so I’m sure either would be awesome.

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drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
2370 tasting notes

My tea twin Roswell Strange sent me a sample of this and it was sooo good! I wasn’t sure quite how to make it so I put two tsps in hot milk and let it stir in my machine. The result? A super creamy cup of awesomeness. It tasted somewhat like vanilla frosted Cheerios and it was amazing. I will definitely be having more soon. Thanks Roswell Strange!!

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drank Power Chai Matcha by David Rio
875 tasting notes

Thank you to Liquid Proust for sending this my way.

I made this in my travel mug yesterday as I was running out the door. The directions on the website seemed a little excessive (3-4 tbsp for 7oz of liquid??), so I went with 3tbsp for about 12oz of hot water, plus a couple of spoons of powdered milk (all out of the fresh stuff.)

It was quite potent at that concentration, and didn’t even fully blend. There was no distinct matcha taste, just lots of nice, spicy chai flavour, predominantly cinnamon.

I will need to try this soon with fresh milk, as I’m not a fan of powdered, and with a bit less mix – maybe as a latte in the blender.

Enjoyable, and I think this will probably go fast.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Spicy

Preparation
9 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Liquid Proust

Told you its strong! You can now understand how someone who isn’t a fan of black tea wouldn’t like this- even if the spices are very inviting to drink from the smell alone.

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I have purchased this chai multiple times because it is popular among my friends. This chai is one of the strongest chais I have tasted so far. I am not sure if this product has changed in the last few years since the last reviews, but this product is absolutely amazing. Adjusting the flavor by powder to water (or milk) is very simple and provides a variety of strength for other drinkers.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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This was a sample from Roswell Strange. I’ve tried the vanilla and maple versions of it, and this one is a “plain” version but it has a green tea base instead of black. I mixed the whole sample, which looked to be about two tablespoons, with 8 ounces of hot unsweetened soy milk.

I must say, it’s just okay for me. The level of sweetness is somewhat high, but I tend to like sweet things so it’s not really a problem for me. I do find the spicing to be a bit too mild, I would call it more of a mildly spiced creamy beverage than a chai. I also can’t taste the green tea, which makes me question the point of doing a green tea-based version. It’s perfectly drinkable and tasty and decadent, but I see no reason to purchase this version over the black tea one.

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
6 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nicole

I like this one with matcha. The only thing I like when matcha is involved. :)

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Miss Roswell Strange was nice enough to send me a sample of this and the Green Tortoise version. She works at a grocery store and they carry David Rio chai mixes. I’ve tried the Maple Moose flavor before and liked it a lot, though I will admit that these mixes are very sweet. However, I have a huge sweet tooth so I like sugary drinks sometimes. So I’m happy I get to try a couple more flavors! This powder is a pale reddish-brown color and it smells sweet and vanilla-y with some spice. I used the whole sample (somewhere around 2 tablespoons I think?) in 8 ounces of hot vanilla soy milk. Double vanilla!

Mm, so thick and creamy and decadent! Sometimes it’s nice to have a sweet and super rich beverage, although I suppose that’s why so many people go to Starbucks. I’m not one of those people, so this is a nice treat for me! It’s very vanilla due to the soy milk, and I love vanilla. The spicing is present but still mild enough that it doesn’t overpower the vanilla flavor. I would say there’s definitely cinnamon and clove, possibly anise? Overall, yums! :) I would totally keep some of this around for a treat every once in a while. And I bet mixing this half-and-half with the maple would be amazing!

Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
6 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nicole

Mmm… vanilla soy milk with this sounds yum!

Cameron B.

That’s generally all I ever have for “milk”. :P

Nicole

I generally have 2% or 1% moo-milk but when I want it in tea I usually want that creamy texture so I have cream or half-and-half. Soy milk sounds like a less fat filled option. :)

Cameron B.

I’m not a fan of actual cow’s milk so I generally only use it in baking and such.

Roswell Strange

I like having these two around as well because I can get Tre to drink them; to him it’s like drinking fancy hot chocolate. Plus, part of the sale price goes to animals! :)

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75

I tried making a dip today using this, some peanut butter, and some chocolate cream cheese. It didn’t work out all that well; while it tasted fine (equal parts flavour of all three ingredients) it was very gritty from the undissolved Chai powder, and then weirdly slimy from the peanut butter/cream cheese concoction.

Nope; not repeating that. It’s a shame; I’ve been struggling using this up…

Nichole

That sounds like an odd one.

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75

Quick little blast of tasting notes for tonight;

I work very early in the morning tomorrow (like I did today and will the day after tomorrow) so I need to get some sleep pronto; but I wont feel good about myself if I’m adding to my queue so I need to write notes for as many (if not more) teas that I drank today. That way, at least, my queue stays the same number instead of growing.

Today’s word of the day was: Proliferate. Which means to grow or increase in number rapidly. My use of this one today is simply that I hope the number of backlogged tasting notes in my queue doesn’t proliferate. And, because I’m not totally sure if I’ll be writing tomorrow – here’s tomorrow’s word of the day so you can all get a head start on that too!

So for January 15th: Telecommute. Telecommute means to work at home by the use of an electronic link up with a central office. Definitely not sure how I’m going to use that one tomorrow!

As for the ‘tea’; back when I had this one I prepared it like I would a cup of instant hot chocolate, and then added in a little splash of Southern Butter Pecan creamer. Not a lot though; I wanted to add more flavour to the tea but not overwhelm or dominate it. As would be expected with creamer added in; this was rather creamy, with a silky, soft mouthfeel. I picked up on the spices from the “Chai” – clove, ginger and cinnamon mostly, but it was gentle and non-intrusive.

Like the Elephant Chai version of this with vanilla I’m reminded of ginger bread or ginger snaps a little bit but this blend is less naturally sweet and does have a very light buttery vegetal quality from the green base. It’s not a massive distinction though. With the flavouring from the creamer the nuttier notes of the green base were drastically played up; it worked well!

I want to continue to experiment with this one, but not as a drink. I’m thinking more like a “seasoning”; I wonder if I could turn it into a ‘rub’ of sorts (though I don’t eat meat or seafood so not sure what I’d rub it onto) or use it as a popcorn topping!? Thoughts to ponder.

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75

I did nothing productive yesterday, and it was great.

I had the day off from Sobeys; so after Calendar Club I stopped at the liquor store, which may have been a bad idea because I ended up walking out with about $80 in alcohol I don’t need – and there’s still more that looks amazing that I want to go buy. But alcohol costs MONEY. Ick. I’m trying to justify by “but you can mix it with tea” but over $100 in booze is not a smart thing.

Here’s my alcohol haul though, for those curious:

- Butterscotch Schnapps
- Rootbeer Schnapps
- Peach Schnapps
- Raspberry Sourpuss
- 4 Pack of “Polar White” shooters (White Chocolate liquor and Peppermint Schnapps)
- Golden Pear Liqueur

And here’s what I didn’t get, but want/ed to:

- Apple Pie Liqueur
- Bols Banana Liqueur
- 4 Pack of Caramel Vodka Mudshakes
- Beer???

TOO MUCH BOOZES.

And then I got home and had a couple drinks, because that’s what you do after a booze haul. Some of those drinks were non drinks though – by which I mean they were actually tea. Like this one: which was actually a hot tea latte. Teaception?

Some observations about this one: it’s noticeably less sweet and “weighty” than the Elephant Blend (snickers), which has a black base instead of this one which is green. There is some sweetness though, which is good for me. Visually, they’re different colours too: Elephant is like a lighter brown, and this one is kinda yellow-y. The vegetal/green tea aspect of this isn’t super obvious – great for non green tea lovers such as myself. But it is subtly there, and I imagine that would be more obvious if this was just in regular water. Spices are present (clove and cinnamon being more distinct), but not overwhelming.

I like it. Plus, it helps the animals

darby

Don’t feel bad, I went to a new liquor store that has amazing prices and walked out spending $190!!! Now $80 of that are presents for Xmas but…..wow!

VariaTEA

Whenever I am in the liquor store, I am always amazing at the million flavors of vodka and I am always tempted to buy them but then I remember the one time I got drunk on vodka, I became a crazy person and wound up at the hospital

Sil

sailor jerry has new pin up girls this year… sigh

VariaTEA

Haha Sil, you’re like their number one fan :P

Sil

dude… i put that stuff in my coffee in the morning when i bother to get a coffee…black + that = yums

OMGsrsly

Before work, or just before wedding planning, Sil? ;)

Sil

um… i refuse to answer that on the grounds that it might be both.

Kittenna

I am thankful that I dislike most alcohol, so I’m far less tempted by the delicious-sounding things, knowing I won’t like it on the grounds that it is booze. However, that Criollo stuff sounds amazing >.>

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78

Yesterday I recreated the popcorn topping I tried a few months ago with this ‘tea’ – though I think I ended up using less than I did that first time. I thought the vanilla and, for whatever reason, the cardamom were standing out a bit more than usual; definitely less of a gingerbread vibe than I normally get.

Today’s word of the day is… Ruminate.

Ruminate means: “1. to chew the cud, as a cow does 2. to think over and over again: ponder”.

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78

Holy Fuck.

- 2 tbsp. of Chai Powder
- 2 loosely packed tbsp. of margarine

Melted down together, stirred up and spooned over fresh, air popped popcorn.

I don’t care that this uses a lot of margarine; it’s sticky, and sweet and probably the best damn popcorn seasoning I’ve ever tried next to Ketchup shaker popcorn seasoning. And ketchup shaker is pretty hard to compete with ’cause I shake that shit on fucking everything to season it.

I will ABSOLUTELY be having this again…

VariaTEA

For some reason I thought you were making something with French toast when I started reading the note hahahah

dragondrool

I hadn’t thought about trying chai mix on my popcorn. I usually add a few shakes of Cholula hot sauce to my butter, and sometimes sprinkle on somd cajun seasoning. Now I’m going to have to try chai popcorn. Thanks for the inspiration!

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78

So this is probably dumb sounding, but I wanted tea to drink while writing tasting notes that I then wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time reviewing afterwards. I’ve been working really hard at finishing off my queue – and I’m SO CLOSE so the really lazy part of me just doesn’t want to drink anything that’ll require lots of writing or me paying close attention until I’ve caught up…

So I made this one as a hot latte because I knew it would be consistent with the other times I’ve reviewed it, super low-effort, and tasty as well. I was right about all of those things; rich, frothy lightly spiced vanilla goodness. You can read one of my other notes on this one if you really want a break down on it…

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78

Happy Holidays, Steepster!

Board/Dash seem quiet today which I’m going to take to mean everyone’s at home with family and loved ones. I’m stuck here at work dealing with the last minute shoppers for now, but in two hours I’ll be headed home to do the same.

currently I’m trouble shooting some technical stuff right now: our receipt printer WAS working, but it just inexplicably stopped. I am not a tech smart person: so this is rather challenging. People are getting pissed off about not receiving receipts, so I’m hand writing out everything for them. It sucks. Do not want. Gonna try the age old “turn it off and back on again” ‘trick’ next…

Anyway; had this in a timolino, without milk this time. Don’t know how it’s possible but this is even sweeter tasting without the milk? How’d that even happen!? It was still good though: thick enough mouthfeel, sweet vanilla, and gingerbread? Mmm! Surprisingly festive!

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78

Guys, there’s a childrens choir singing Christmas carols in the mall… AWWWW!

So, I did it! I bought the tin of this from work yesterday – and trying it now. When I got home last night I opened it up to inspect it, and it’s definitely interesting: visually it’s a very, very fine powder like instant hot chocolate mix, and it had a strong smell of cloves and ginger with a heavy, vanilla sweetness to it. At first I was kind of reminded of graham crackers but then I realized that it’s a dead wringer, smell wise, for fresh gingerbread!

Now, the company recommends 3 tbsp. for 8 oz. which, to me, is SUPER extreme and the kind of crazy thing you tell less hardcore teadrinkers who need EVERYTHING super leafed and heavily sweetened so I definitely did not use 3 tbsp. Instead I compromised and went with 1 1/2 tbsp. mixed in with 50/50 milk and boiling water in a 12 oz. timolino. And even with half of what they recommended this is still very flavourful. It’s actually really rich/creamy with a very sweet vanilla flavour and then the right balance of spices to, again, really remind me of gingerbread! It’s cinnamon, and nutmeg, and a little bit of cloves, and something very cookie like! I’m pretty impressed, and happy with my decision to take a chance on this one.

I can tell you right now though, if I’d followed instructions this would have been hella sweet/cloying. Hooray common sense!

VariaTEA I’m definitely sending you some because it’s weird and interesting and I think that even though you, like me, dislike Chai you wont totally hate this one. Plus, it helps the animals.

OMGsrsly

OH, I like this so much! There’s a spicy one too, Tiger I think. London Drugs used to carry it but they don’t anymore.

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24
drank Fuji Apple by David Rio
44 tasting notes

Pretty foul and artificial tasting. Strictly a tea of last desperation.

Flavors: Apple

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85
drank Maple Moose Chai by David Rio
972 tasting notes

I got this one from Nicole. It’s a powdered chai mix, which I don’t think I’ve ever tried before. But it has maple and sounded so delicious that I had to request a sample from her! The sample was probably a couple tablespoons, but she just wrote to use the whole thing so I didn’t measure it. I made mine with vanilla soy milk because I don’t have any regular milk right now and I love vanilla!

Holy cow, this is very sweet. But I love it! Super delicious and creamy. It’s very mildly spiced and she’s right, you don’t taste much tea. The maple isn’t overpowering, just a lovely accent. Overall, this would probably be too sweet for most people, but I find it delicious and ridiculously indulgent. I wish this company offered a sampler of all of their different chai mixes. There’s a mango version which sounds amazing! :P

Flavors: Creamy, Maple, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
7 OZ / 207 ML
Nicole

I have sometimes found sample packages in places like gift and home stores. The mango is the one that got me hooked to begin with and the green tortoise is the only thing I like to put matcha in.

Only thing I dislike about the David Rio mixes is that they use so much product for a cup you go through the tin pretty quickly. I got my last off of Amazon since a 2 pack and a single can get you to the free shipping level. :) They are handy to have around on a cold morning when you want sweet and creamy.

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87
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
154 tasting notes

This is about the 5th time I’ve used this mix and I think I’ve got the hang of it. I mix about 3 tablespoons with 6 ounces unsweetened almond milk and 2 ounces of espresso. The unsweetened milk really changes the flavor and makes it more balanced. Since I’m not focusing on the sugar, the spice comes through a lot better and it’s a delight to drink. It’s bumping Granville Island down a notch!

Preparation
9 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Tiger Spice Chai by David Rio
154 tasting notes

I’m drinking this with about 2.5 tablespoons (instead of the recommended 3) and a full cup of almond milk. I also added in 2 ounces of fresh brewed espresso. I thought the chai flavor would be lost, but it is still very noticeable. I wish the chai flavor would be stronger (probably my fault for adding too much milk in), but I don’t think I could add more mix in since it tastes very sweet to me. (Recently I have been using Trader Joe’s Spiced Chai Latte mix / Hammonds Candy Cane Cocoa, so saying this is sweet means it is!)

I’ll give it another try though, since my friend gifted this to me for Christmas!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C

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