87

Gave this one another shot today with breakfast. Even with using more tea, and a longer infusion (which I’ve found really only makes the tea overly spicy), I’m not satisfied with the base of this chai. It’s just too light for me, and too overpowered by the spices. I’m not getting enough chocolate for my liking, either. Perhaps with milk I would be happier, but as is, nope.

So… I tried an experiment. I had also brewed up some Laoshan Black for my roommate, so took the infuser filled with the once-used leaves, and popped it into my still-hot cup for… a little while (a bit longer than I intended as I received an email with some very sad news in it… the secretary in my dep’t had a massive heart attack last night and passed away :( ) Anyhow, the result was quite a bit improved! The chocolatey Laoshan notes complemented the chai so incredibly well, making the cup incredibly delicious! I did recently pick up a sample of the Laoshan Village Chai, and now I’m wondering if that’s essentially what I just made by mixing these two teas together.

So the first cup I tried this way was rather delicious, and a re-steep of first the chai (2nd infusion), then the Laoshan Black (3rd infusion) was also pretty good.

I don’t really want to have to mix all my Laoshan Black in with this chai though, so I still need to work on how best to drink this.

Bonnie

This is a milder chai and I like this steeped in milk really well with honey.

Kittenna

Yeah, I do like the spicing here, I just wanted something more chocolatey, I think. Hopefully I can work out some effective steeping parameters! Also, honey sounds like an interesting experiment…

Bonnie

I tried it with and without honey and milk but the milk and honey were my favorites. I had the grandkid girls over and steeped a half gallon of milk and made a big batch of this chai with honey in a big pot on the stove, then watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie and ate gingersnaps (all three together were wonderful!).

Kittenna

Yum. I have an awesome recipe for soft ginger cookies… I imagine it would be fabulous with this (I could overcook them to get gingersnaps if I desired). Yum yum yum…

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Bonnie

This is a milder chai and I like this steeped in milk really well with honey.

Kittenna

Yeah, I do like the spicing here, I just wanted something more chocolatey, I think. Hopefully I can work out some effective steeping parameters! Also, honey sounds like an interesting experiment…

Bonnie

I tried it with and without honey and milk but the milk and honey were my favorites. I had the grandkid girls over and steeped a half gallon of milk and made a big batch of this chai with honey in a big pot on the stove, then watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie and ate gingersnaps (all three together were wonderful!).

Kittenna

Yum. I have an awesome recipe for soft ginger cookies… I imagine it would be fabulous with this (I could overcook them to get gingersnaps if I desired). Yum yum yum…

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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