I hate adding teas to the database, and I royally messed this one up. Can anyone help me? I forgot to add an image, and Steepster won’t let me edit the information. I guess because I posted it?
Anyway, I was sent a sample of this along with an order I placed on Cyber Monday of Whispering Pines chai blends. I was really excited to get the sample, as it made me feel special. I’m especially glad I got this sample, because I like it a lot more than the Masala Chai blend, which is a really nice tea, but which I think demonstrates that maybe Chai blends are not so much my thing.
Anyway, because I like this tea more, and because I’m about to finish the sample, I decided I would post a log note. I’ll make one for the Masala Chai blend later, but I’m waiting to decide exactly how I feel about that tea.
The brewing instructions for this tea are the same as the masala blend, 1 TBL for 5 minutes at boiling. I think that 1 TBL of tea would brew way too strong of a cup, as this tea, like the masala blend, is STRONG. I brewed 1.5 teaspoons of tea per 1 cup of water for this brewing, as I found out with the masala blend that such a tea to water ratio worked for me after trying a couple of other ratios.
I take my tea without milk, so maybe with the Whispering Pines suggested chai recipe which has half water to half milk ratio, 1 TBL of tea works. Honestly, this brews so strongly though, that I probably would still cut my tea back.
Anyway, I’ve been cramming out a paper all day yesterday and today, due today of course! And it’s cold in my room, so chai seemed appropriate. I also thought I’d brew something novel—thus my sample.
This is such a rambling log note. Hopefully my paper makes more sense. Anyway, the base on this tea is good I think, but it is heavily spiced. The base is Whispering Pines’s Kenya Surprise, which is a CTC black tea. The tea in this brews strongly and has a very nice black tea taste without a lot of bitterness from what I can tell, and when I place my next Whispering Pines order, I hope I remember to buy an ounce or two of the base tea to try by itself. I think I actually really like it.
I also like the blend of this chai and the masala chai, which is very similar. I taste a lot of cardamon, which I really appreciate, as that to me is the most detectable spice instead of the cinnamon or cloves, which I think think is a failure of a lot of chai blends. I really like cardamon. However, the blend is very even. In fact, in theory, I like this blend so much that it lead me to the conclusion I’m not feeling chai right now, because this and the masala blend are great teas and great chais.
I can’t quite detect why I like this tea better than the other blend. They are very similar, and this one works for me so much better. Obviously, the technical reason is the mint, but I don’t know what about the addition of the mint suits me more than the straight chai blend. I’ll attempt though, because the whole point of a tea log is for me to describe tastes in vague difficult to pin down terms, right? I think the mint adds a sharpness to the tea which actually rounds out the spice blend. Since I’ve been drinking these two chai blends without milk, I think the roundness is necessary (although, as a note, I added milk to one of my pots of the masala blend, which will come up in my review of that blend, which I will write eventually.) Furthermore, it somehow makes the blend taste a bit lighter and like—fluffier. (Now my language has gone off the deep end. I’ll stop now.)
Anyway, I like this tea a lot. I probably won’t buy the masala blend unless I need to have chai on hand for some reason. But I might reorder this tea. It’s really lovely actually. Oh, and I got 1 great steep from it, a nice second steep, and a half-way decent third steep last night, which is notable. The second steep tastes more heavily of the spices, which is a really interesting difference. I like when teas have significant flavor changes with steepings.