drank Masala Chai by Adagio Teas
1240 tasting notes

I have three samples left from the Adagio chai sampler—this, the thai chai and the spiced apple chai. I decided to try this first. I made it using the Samovar stovetop recipe and doubled the recipe to make a cup for the BF who I don’t think has ever tried chai.

It has been so long since I made chai that I’m going to have a hard time rating this because I don’t fully remember what my favorites taste like, and I’m really enjoying this for being chai more than for any specific taste-related reason.

I will say that this doesn’t list pepper as an ingredient, which I remember is a big chai requirement for me, but it tastes like it does have pepper. It has a really nice spicy kick which may be from the ginger root? I certainly taste the cinnamon, clove and cardamom.

I’m giving this a low excellent rating for now until I refresh my recollection about which chais I like and why.

BTW, I hit 75 sipdowns for 2014 and it was a big one, but my triumphant note got buried in the backlog from the dashboard freeze so I feel compelled to mention it again. LOL.

ETA: Make that four samples, or now 3.5 as I only have half of this left. I forgot to list the chocolate chai. It was hiding behind some oolong.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

Boiling 8 min or more
Sami Kelsh

Yay! I find so many chais disappointing because they’re too sweet and not spicy enough. This is encouraging. nods


Not too sweet—boiled in water and Splenda (then 1% milk) or could have been even less sweet.

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Sami Kelsh

Yay! I find so many chais disappointing because they’re too sweet and not spicy enough. This is encouraging. nods


Not too sweet—boiled in water and Splenda (then 1% milk) or could have been even less sweet.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became less appealing to me — but I still enjoy nicely done blends where the base doesn’t taste like hamster cage chips. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation. These days, I’ve been drinking primarily green tea during weekdays after my first cup of coffee. On weekends, I’ve been drinking only tea.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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