15 Tasting Notes
I was surprised by how tolerable this tea was. I expect it will be even better cold brewed in the summer, perhaps added to lemonade. My experience with the hot brewed version was a nicely tart raspberry heavy herbal tea which needed very little sugar. I can understand how the acidic berry flavors are off-putting to many steepsters, but I was pleasantly amused by it.
Was steeply discounted at Teavana, so I gave it a go. Will not do so again. By itself, the ‘spiciness’ is overwhelmingly sharp and yet very flat, without any depth of toasted spice flavor or smoothness of rooibos or black tea that I would hope backs such a chai. On the second attempt, I mixed with Red Label black chai grounds as a backing, treating the Oprah Chai like a tea masala. Still no good, too pointy a flavor palette.
I had long been wary of this no-black-tea attempt at Indian spices, but received a box worth as a gift so dutifully gave it a few cups’ try. Suffice to say, I was right to be scared. Too much spice in the form of nutmeg & pepper overwhelmed with vanilla and nowhere near enough of the ginger, cinnamon and cardamom that would make an herbal ‘chai’ emulation worthwhile. Will be leaving the rest of this box at work for the less chai-obsessed folk.
Flavors: Nutmeg, Pepper, Vanilla
I had high hopes for this tea, which is marketed as a “dessert” tea having the chocolate notes of carob alongside the mint. The problem that is nearly a deal breaker is the smell. I suspect its the fault of the barley (why barley in tea??) but there is yeasty unpleasant head to the smell. The taste is nice enough, sweet and smooth from the rooibos and mint/carob combo – but smell is very big for me and the smell at the front of each sip grows very unappetizing by the end.
Flavors: Chocolate, Spearmint
Apparently this is one of Bigelow’s best selling teas ever, and I can see why. I tried it for the first time at church (typical) and found the strong cardamom and orange overtones to the otherwise pleasingly mild black tea addictive. A box of 20 later, this is a permanent member of my cupboard. Some people may want to add cream as it has a bit of Earl Grey-like dry spice to it, but it’s wholly fantastic by itself. I like it strong, so I steep this one about 3 minutes – you can get a nice color at just 2, though.
Flavors: Cardamon, Orange, Spicy
While this isn’t as perfect as using pure black chai and masala spice to taste, it is a reliably delicious easy cuppa. If you’re willing to wait, you can steep a nice cup with very little and get a deep palette of the spices (cinnamon, anise, cardamom, ) and good old black tea flavor. Absolutely recommend for any strong chai lover.
Surprisingly delicious! My mother bought me this because I like ginger tea, and thankfully it makes no attempt at the dark spicy “gingerbread” flavor. It is a clean and refreshing pure ginger flavor with hints of lemon – very subtle. Virtually no sugar required for this beautifully smooth, light tea. (Surprisingly for Bigelow bags, it has a demure golden color to boot!)
I wanted to try a nut-heavy tea, but this turned out to be stronger on the fruit than the nuts. You can taste the smooth darkness of the hazelnut/coconut, but the pineapple and other tropical sweetness is much more powerful. If you like the sound of that, it’s worth a try but I won’t be buying again – the quest for an adequately warm and nutty tea continues! This is a good balance for what it is, though.