Backlog: Last night, I finished off what little I had of this blend – I found it hiding in my stash … I had thought it was gone before this! I prepared it strong and served it latte with several gingerbread men marshmallows tossed in. YUM!
This is my first 52Teas blend! Thumper taught me not to say anything if I can’t say anything nice, so I’m having a bit of a tough time getting the words to flow, here. It’s especially tough given how beloved 52T are to the Steepster family. I’m going to go ahead and leave off the rating, for now, and take the blame for this poor first impression.
My little sample bag says to steep in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. 3-5 or 2-5, I forget which. But I always pick the longest steep time, because I always want the strongest, most robust flavour possible. This time, doing so resulted in an undrinkable brew.
The dry leaf’s fragrance is sweet in kind of a generic way. If you’d blindfolded me and waved the bag under my nose, I would’ve said “sweet,” and I probably would’ve said “black tea.” I wouldn’t have said “gingerbread” or “chai.” The brew smelled more like I expected: now I could definitely smell chai, and as the tea cooled I could smell gingerbread more and more.
My first sip of unsweetened tea caught me a little off-guard. It tasted like black tea with cardamom. Not chai, and not gingerbread. It was a little bitter, too. So I added honey, and that made it palatable, but it still tasted like black tea with cardamom. I’m sad to say that now that the tea’s cooled a bit, it’s become unbearably bitter, and I’m going to have to pour it down the drain. Really sad. (On the other hand, the Universe is probably doing me a favour: I’ve already drunk some black tea today and shouldn’t be having any more.)
I shan’t rate this until I’ve tried the stovetop method. Crossing my fingers that I can get the same great taste out of this as most of the others who’ve reviewed it!
Backlog from Saturday..
Boyfriends parents walked with us around downtown Asheville today and it was SO. COLD. So after about an hour of walking around we headed back to the house, and I brought this up to try and make a latte with. His mom came over and pretty much said “make me some, too”. So, even though I wasn’t exactly sure how this was going to work out, and even though I didn’t want it sweetened, I complied.
2 cups milk, 2 cups water, 4 tsp. tea, and 1 tbsp. sugar split three ways. More or less steeped for about 10 minutes.
I HATE being put on the spot with a tea I’m not confident with. Especially given the medicinal note that came out when I steeped the tea the first time. I know how picky boyfriends’ parents are and I just didn’t feel like wasting tea leaves if it turned out they didn’t like it.
I guess they didn’t mind it, though, because they drank it. Even though I thought it could have used more leaf (can’t wait to get home where mugs are normal sized and I can measure things better!) it did have a pleasant ginger note, but I didn’t get any other specific flavors, just a general spiciness. Another tsp. of tea leaves would have probably made it better, but oh well.
At any rate, it was nice to drink this and read some fiction while watching the cold sky outside slowly darken. Even if it did start to do that at 5:00. Oh, winter…
Stovetop preparation: 6 oz water, 6 oz milk, 2 tsp tea, a spoonful of honey.
I am tempted to take the cardamom out of here to use on my sweet potatoes later. I went to the store and found they want $11 for a jar of cardamom LOL Instead I’m gonna do curry powder. Anyway, yeah, I just realized I should have gone to the Penzey’s up the street.
I almost feel like I put too much honey in here. But that’s okay, it definitely tastes like a gingerbread cookie!
I used to hate getting 52teas Chais because I never really understood how to make it right…stovetop is the way.
This is probably as close to the perfect tea surprise for this Christmas morning as I could get. This has a great spiced gingerbready flavor. It reminds me of Adagio’s gingerbread tea, which I haven’t had in a couple of years but a really liked as well.
The sip down has come. I enjoyed this but I’ll admit that I wouldn’t get it again if it were to be reblended. A little too bitter and ginger root-y for my tastes. But I’ve enjoyed mixing it with the Red Leaf Pumpkin Pie black matcha.
A good one to sip on when it’s cold and rainy outside.
So, I think I’ve found my perfect chai. And in typical me style, said chai is no longer available. I broke open my gingerbread chai to enjoy with my peanut butter and crackers (great pairing, actually!) It’s so good! It smells great, it tastes great…It is, obviously more of a gingerbread chai than a spice chai and that is what I like. I’ve had 4 or 5 smaller cups from this steep so far, and am so happy with it. I wonder if I can re-steep it? Hmm, will try this later. Frank, if I decide at the end of this pouch that this IS my chai, will you blend me a pound? What does that cost? I remember you doing a pound of peanut butter something for someone..
Anyway, this tea. I don’t know what to say. It’s like hot gingerbread. I prepared it like regular tea without any milk, since I’ve been failing at stovetop chai lately (I think a combo of too much milk and too short steep time are doing me in, since I hate milk). There are spices here, sure, but no one spice is domineering the rest. There is just a nice taste in my mouth much like eating gingerbread. The beau even seemed to enjoy a sip and he HATES chai. So great! God, a gingerbread man would go good right now..
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! I hope everyone is having an enjoyable holiday.
I love the spicy gingerbread aroma coming through as this tea steeps. I wish I cold write more about the taste, but as I have come down with a decent head cold, I am not able to taste much of this tea. I think I will stick to spice or herbal teas in hopes they may clear my throat and nose.