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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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
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.
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
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
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…
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!
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.
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
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!
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!
I got this in our family Christmas grab bag. I came home with a nice case of something tummy related and today was the first day since then that I’ve really thought tea sounded good. Even then, it wasn’t so much tea sounding good but wanting to try something new. :)
I know my tastebuds are still somewhat out of whack but this was super sweet. I did taste maple and as with many of the David Rio mixes, I didn’t taste much tea but that is okay. I don’t mind them for something sweet and milky and fast but not really tea. This one, I wouldn’t reach for over the Tiger Chai or the Green Tortoise Chai, but it’s okay.
As usual for me, I made this with 1% milk instead of water.
Yeah, I’m still really behind. sigh I hope to get caught up one day!
Anyway … I received a packet of this chai mix in one of my Love With Food boxes … and I was happy to try it. David Rio is a company I’m familiar with because back when I was first starting out in the tea business (blending/selling … not reviewing!) I sampled quite a few of David Rio’s products as I did have some customers that expressed an interest in a chai mix rather than a loose leaf … and had I decided to ultimately offer a mix … I would have gone with the David Rio product because at the time, it was my favorite of the ones that I had tried. This was many years ago, and I’ve since had the opportunity to try some newer brands out there … but this is still pretty darned good for what it is.
However, I can say this … my taste buds seems to have … developed since the last time I had this because I used to like this a whole lot better than I do now. Either my taste buds have improved or the competition has improved (or perhaps … a little of both.) I used to love this stuff … but now I’m finding it just … OK. Drinkable … but not something that I’d keep stocked in my kitchen for everyday consumption … or even more than occasional consumption.
Good, not great … but I do like that David Rio is committed to a good cause (the welfare of animals.)
Another bagged tea from the lovely High Adventure
After my yoga session this morning, I had a craving for Matcha.
I am currently out, till I remembered this bag I had in my sample drawer.
When I first opened the packet I was a tad frightened since the pear smell was quite pronounced and almost candy-like.
Once the tea was brewed the smell had calmed down some.
The matcha taste is there, but its is rather overtaken by the pear, however, the pear taste is not so loud and candy-like as the smell of it at the beginning.
Nice little tea to sip while I am still on my yoga high.
Thank you again, High Adventure!
After trying the Tortoise Green Chai, I ordered some and to get free shipping, I added this as well. :)
I’m not sure I can taste tea at all. That said, I can taste spices and definitely fruit. It goes together well. Sweet, yes, but not sickeningly so. I still probably don’t need more than one cup of it at a sitting.
Made with 7 oz. water and 3 tablespoons chai mix per package instructions. Curious to try with milk. I didn’t think this was too thin, but thicker would be good, too, I’m pretty sure. ;) I’d order it again if I was out somewhere and they had it, but I might or might not replace it in my cupboard when this supply is gone. Jury is still out on that.
I had this as a chai latte at the DFW airport on my way to vacation last week. I was looking for some breakfast before the flight and this jumped out at me. It was excellent. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a green chai, much less a powdered one. The guy making it told me he was also putting Japanese matcha in it but who knows. He was a little hard to understand and it was early in the morning. :) He did give me the extra that wouldn’t fit in the regular cup in a little tasting cup and gave me a medium for small price. I had asked for a small and he either misunderstood or he was bored because he made a medium and then told me he was charging me the small price. Not gonna complain about that. :)
At any rate, this was thick, rich, sweet and amazing. I’m going to have to keep an eye out for some. It was best hot, but cooled off to lukewarm it was still good, though the aftertaste got stronger and wouldn’t have been my favorite part of it.
UPDATE: The dude who made this for me did indeed add matcha to it. When I made this at home tonight, it was not green and it tasted different. Still had an odd bit of aftertaste, but not as creamy and not green. :) Tried adding some matcha powder I got from Teavana awhile back and blech. I think I need to figure out how to mix matcha before I try this again. That and I’m pretty sure I just don’t care much for matcha when it tastes like matcha. :)
This is the very last sample from our tea swap with Krystaleyn. Le sigh. I shouldn’t be sighing, I have a box of samples to get through sitting right next to me.
This would be totally awesome iced I think. It’s pretty good hot but all that berry action makes me think it’s perfect for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. Blueberry seems to be the strongest flavor here with a pomegranate sidekick. There is some thing a little different with this blueberry. I think it may be that acai berry showing up here. Very good berry mix. I can’t really taste the green tea but that’s okay berry drinks are awesome. Thanks again Krystaleyn!
This was the last sample from our exchange with the always wonderful Krystaleyn!
Although this isn’t something I’d normally pick out on my own, I’m glad I got a chance to try it. It may just be the years of being a “counter-culture” nerd, but I’d probably immediately gloss over something labelled as “Organic Power Fruit Tea”. It’s just too many trendy buzzwords at once… instantly puts me back in the shoes of being an angsty teenager who hated anything popular. I’ve grown past that, I swear.
The star of the show on this tea is definitely the blueberry, with a little bit of pomegranate flavoring, and a little of what may be acai. In all honesty, if it didn’t say it had green tea in it, I would have thought this was just a fruit infusion. Not that this would be a bad thing.
The tea is sweet with just a little bit of a tang, but not too much, just enough to round out the flavor. Done a little bit differently, I could really enjoy this tea. Oooh, I bet it’s good iced!