Zhena's Gypsy Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
I do not like this tea. I have had it plain without enjoyment. I mixed it with hibiscus with partial enjoyment. I mixed it with organic dried banana slices and coconut and strongly disliked it. I will not purchase this tea again.
This is the last bag, so I thought I would save it from loneliness.
Dry it smells really weak. Steeped it smells and tastes really weak. But I think that fresh, this might be pretty good. I have the faintest raspberry-lemon-orange taste coming through. The base is pretty mild, not overly bitter or astringent. It’s just too bad it’s so weak tasting.
Flavors: Bergamot, Raspberry
I’m not a chai person, but I will have one on occasion. It either needs to be really milky or very light on the spices for me to enjoy it. I found that Zhena’s gypsy chai teas with the red base + a short steep time are best for my tastebuds in the chai world.
The scent is very sweet and deep, with lots of layers. I smell the chocolate first, followed by the rooibos and a hint of cinnamon and cloves. It really does smell like a fancy, spicy hot chocolate.
Sipping… hm, this is nice. I taste a watery sort of chocolate (not really all that dark-tasting.. I’m getting more of a milk chocolate note) with a heavy mouthfeel. The spices come out at the end of the sip and they’re actually not too bad. They’re on the sweeter side and aren’t all that spicy. I also think that the sweet spices bring out some of the chocolate as well. The rooibos sort of hides behind everything and is most strong when the spices fade away.
Overall, I am actually quite pleased with this chai. I think it might be even more delicious with the addition of milk.
SSTTB: Pick #1
So today the SSTTB made its way to me literally just as I was walking out the door for work. So of course I did the “only sensible thing” and I took it to work with me, because Lord knows I wasn’t going to be able to wait out an eight hour shift without peaking inside. Plus the fact that my shift today was just me babysitting the store for a few hours while we had the floor waxed meant I could pretty much just sit around and snoop through it anyway. I wouldn’t have anything else to do.
I would have texted Tyrell or something, but the big baby falls asleep around 9:30 every night which is half an hour before I finish work on a normal shift; tonight I was supposed to get off at 1AM (finished at midnight though, so an hour early). So that wasn’t an option.
I did end up making myself a cup of tea from the box though! Because I recently lent my “at work” infusers to Bobbi (the other Keyholder) so she could try some better quality straight blacks than the Red Rose she normally drinks I didn’t have any infusing equipment at my tea station, so bagged tea it was!
Up until today I’d only tried one other Zhena’s Gypsy blend: the Coconut Chai. It was pretty decent. To me, this one tasted much more like Raspberry than Earl Grey. Pretty much any Bergamot in this was lost to me; they must have been very light handed with it (or this could be rather old – who knows). Overall I thought the whole cup was rather thin/weak tasting but not so bad, especially for a bagged tea. At least it didn’t even come close to being a bitter, which I’ll give it points for.
There’s one more bag of this in the box, but unless Tre or Tyrell or anyone else who comes over expresses interest in it I think I’ll just leave it in there for someone else to try.
I like this tea when prepared with a splash of almond milk. It’s a good sweet summer red tea, even though the flavor palate seems more autumnal. The only reason I don’t up the rating is because the licorice flavor is overpowering, and for those like me who despise licorice tea, this is a drawback. However, it’s still worth keeping in stock and will be a big hit among the licorice-tea lovers especially. When toned down with a bit of almond milk, it makes for a nice dessert tea.
Flavors: Absinthe, Almond, Brown Sugar, Cardamon, Licorice, Spices, Summer, Sweet
This tea was surprisingly delicious! I added to one of my favorites and out of the five samples, it was my favorite. Read the full review here: http://www.abbisiler.com/tea/ambrosia-plum-zhenas-gypsy-tea
Oh wow, this was yummy. definitely peppermint mocha, with a yummy rooibos twist! The woodsy taste of the rooibos adds a subtle depth to the traditional peppermint mocha. Tasty goodness, I found that I finished my cup almost instantly!
Thanks MissB for sending this along to me!
I really like this iced, it’s very refreshing. I don’t enjoy it hot though. It’s one of the few herbals I don’t get a “wet washrag” taste with – probably because I rarely get loose herbals and I suspect that taste comes from the paper from teabags.
Brewed hot, added some splenda, then iced it. Doesn’t need much sweetening. It’s a pretty amber beer color.
I will definitely drink this a lot this summer.
The scoop it comes with is annoyingly small – they say to use 5 scoops of tea with it.
My first experience with Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai was disappointing, as I found the brew quite weak. Today I tried infusing a bag directly in almond-coconut milk. As evidence that this blend is truly tea deficient, the cup of almond-coconut milk remained nearly white through the infusion process. I added a second bag, and by dipping and squeezing the bags, eventually I achieved a beige-colored liquor.
The taste was much better, but it still seemed more like an almond-coconut milk drink than a chai tea beverage. This is definitely the way to prepare this tea, as far as as I’m concerned, but I doubt that I’ll buy any more once my final bag from the sampler tin is gone.
The spices in Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai taste pretty good, but the underlying black tea base is weak, to put it mildly. The base is indicated by the company text (in this tea’s Steepster profile) as “ceylon”, though on the can it is identified as “Indian black tea”. Hmmm… isn’t Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka (formerly known, in the colonial days, as “Ceylon”)? Did India acquire Sri Lanka while I was busy moving?
The liquor is a light peachy gold—looking more like a brewed Chun Mee than a black tea—and the flavor is, stated simply, tea deficient. Of course, I prefer my spicy chais to be prepared with a robust black base, so Zhena’s Gypsy Tea chai and I were never meant to be. In loose leaf chais which are too weak on the tea front, I sometimes throw in a dose of CTC Assam for good measure.
Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai comes in a filter bag, so I’ll probably use the remaining three servings in my sampler tin to infuse directly into almond coconut milk and see how that tastes. Perhaps it will at least draw out the coconut more forcefully. Here it is masked by the traditional chai spices.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves
I am not a lover of chai teas but this one smelled really great. Plus, it was a convenient tea bag so I decided to give it a taste.
I am getting a very thin caramel flavor mixed with hints of cinnamon and clove. Overall, it just seems very weak to me so I am guessing this was underleafed. Perhaps I will try this with two teabags next time to see if that is better because the cup has potential to be pretty decent.
ETA: Tried brewing this up with two teabags and it is still pretty weak when it comes to the caramel flavor. The spices come out a bit more though which actually overwhelms what little caramel there is.
I love raspberry, and I love Earl Grey. Do they combine to form a harmonious marriage? My experience with Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Raspberry Earl suggests that this match was not meant to be; this union was ill-conceived.
My first observation was that the dried tea in the filter bag smelled very strongly of raspberry, as in: artificially flavored. However, the ingredients are all natural and even organic, so it must be that they really piled on the raspberry pieces, because it’s strong enough to serve as an Air Wick in a public restroom. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration.
I remained hopeful about the brew since I often find that dried teas smell much stronger than the final flavor and scent of the prepared liquor. In this case it is true that the raspberry is a bit lighter, but it is still strong and I’m afraid that I do not like the base—identified as certified organic Nilgiri black tea—very much. In fact, when I took a sip of the reddish amber tea without cream, I realized that I could not possibly drink it unadulterated.
The cream-sloshed tea was not much better, I regret to report, and I came close to tossing it. Only my dire need of late-afternoon caffeine motivated me to slug it down. Sorry, but I’m now 0/2 for Zhena’s Gypsy Tea. I’ll continue to work my way through the two stackable sampler tins…
Sipdown. Over the course of these four filterbags filled with, let us be frank, dust, I ended up deciding that this bedtime infusion is better than I had initially thought. Now it’s all gone, and I won’t purchase again, but I am increasing my rating. There is a hefty dose of aniseed in this blend, which initially seemed off-putting to me, as I had been prepared from the name for chamomile. The key term here is Italian, not Chamomile…
I ordered two of the stackable tins of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea as I have been curious about this brand but was not sure that I wanted to buy a full tin of any of the flavors without trying them out first. Tonight I brewed up one of the four filter bags of Italian Chamomile.
My first observation was that the scent of the dried tea is overwhelmingly dominated by fennel seed. I have had a few different teas which feature fennel, mostly “digestive aid” teas such as the Good Earth Tea for Digestion. Fennel apparently settles stomachs. I cannot say that the flavor of fennel seed is all that appealing to me in tea blends. It’s a very different flavor from licorice root (confusingly identified in the company text as the same). There is also licorice root in this blend, but the fennel really steals the show.
The brew tasted better than the dried tea smelled because the fennel was less loud once infused. Still, I would not really consider this to be a chamomile blend so much as a functional fennel blend for digestion. It’s okay, but I won’t be buying a full supply. I’ll drink the other three filter bags, but unless I undergo some sort of conversion, that will be all for me of this particular Zhena’s Gypsy Tea creation.
My second cup of this, and my opinion holds. This is nice. It is, in fact, nicer than I expected it to be, and it suits today. In my part of the world its going to be in the lower 90’s. Gah. Its too early for this summer weather, thats for sure. Blerh.
Off I go, to get ready for work on this hot day.
Hmm. Not sure what I was expecting with this. Something more citrusy? But I like it! Its a green tea with mint, and, as it cools, indeed a bit of citrus. I am always timid around green teas, but I’ve got help with this one. Mint and lemon is a lovely combo, and help introduce this green and myself. Maybe we can be friends!
I feel like this review took a turn for the weird. Now back to your regularly schduled steepster.
Decided to try this one next, since I’d already tried the chocolate chai and it wasn’t bad. With that in mind I had high hopes for the caramel chai. I brewed it up and added a spoonful of sugar.
The smell of the brewed tea was off-putting. It smelled more like potpourri than anything. While potpourri’s nice, I’ve no real desire to drink it. I let it cool a bit and tentatively took a sip. To my dismay, it was nowhere near as pleasant as the chocolate chai had been; between the cloying sweetness, the faint undertaste of rooibos, and the strong potpourri scent, I began to feel a bit nauseous and dumped the rest down the drain.
Maybe it would be somewhat more tolerable with milk added, but I really don’t feel like wasting any on a second attempt.
The second one out of the four-pack that I decided to try. Not without misgivings; rooibos isn’t something I normally enjoy. It certainly smelled nice, I’ll give it that. I let it steep for roughly eight minutes and added sugar. While waiting for my cup to finish steeping, I pondered what exactly the “shortbread flavoring” listed on the can could be.
The first sip I took? UGH. There was something sharp and almost medicinal about it. I thought about dumping it down the drain for a moment, but I figured I’d let it cool a little and try again. The taste definitely improved when I did, making it mainly chocolate and cinnamon. A tiny hint of rooibos, but not anything I couldn’t ignore.
Not really the spiciest of chais, but still a tasty tea. And getting me to willingly drink rooibos is certainly a plus.
Picked up a Zhena’s chai sampler cheap at Marshall’s. Not like I’m exactly running short on tea right now, but I have a hard time turning down more. This was the first one out of the four I decided to try. And well, the name’s a bit misleading. There’s no hazelnut flavor to it at all. It’s just chai. A very, very mild chai at that.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible. I’ll use the other three bags (there’s four bags of each kind in the sampler), but it’s not something I’d buy more of if I wanted something hazelnut flavored. Or hell, even if I wanted chai; there are far better ones than this.