Chi Whole Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

The last of my Chi Whole Leaf samples, and my second favourite so far! I used 1/4 tsp of leaf, as I have for each of the others, and stirred it into a cup of boiling water. I was expecting it to be quite sweet and cloying, but it surprised me by being quite light on the palate. The main flavour is sweet, reminiscent of hay and honey, but there’s also a mild freshness from the mint that stops it from becoming too overpowering. It’s not a combination I’ve really thought much about (with maybe one or two exceptions – Adagio’s Foxtrot, which I loved, springs immediately to mind), but it’s a surprisingly good one.

I had the same trouble with the powder here that I’ve had with all of the others, in that it settled to a sludge at the bottom of my cup, and didn’t really stay in suspension. It still tastes good, though, so I guess that’s just one of those things. This is another of the Chi Whole Leaf teas I’d consider purchasing, but not until my cupboard is well back under control. It makes for a quick, convenient pre-bedtime (or pre-nerve wracking event) tea.

1/4 tsp, boiling water. No additions.

Preparation
Boiling

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80

Second last Chi Whole Leaf sample. I’ve been so late getting to these, what with one thing and another, but at least I’m nearly there now. It’s easy to say that this is my favourite so far of the samples Will provided, and with only Chamomile to go it’s a safe bet that it’ll stay that way. The mint is clean and refreshing, but not too strong or overpowering in the way a lot of mint teas can be. The green base is smooth and sweet, not at all bitter or astringent, which is a huge plus as far as I’m concerned. It’s the eucalyptus that makes this one truly unique, though. It adds a distinctive cooling freshness towards the end of the sip that lingers beautifully in the aftertaste – this would be really wonderful on a hotter day, or maybe prepared in cold water/milk. This morning’s cup was hot, as that’s how I’ve tried all of the other samples so far, but I might use the rest of the sample for a cold cup this afternoon. I can see that working really well.

I got the same sludge at the bottom of the cup with this one that I’ve experiences with all of the Chi Whole Leaf samples so far. For some reason, they just don’t seem to stay in suspension very well, or for very long. Having said that, it doesn’t seem to impact too much on the flavour, and the texture is noticeably improved when the settling has occurred.

I enjoyed this one. I was looking for something clean and fresh tasting, and that’s what I got. The eucalyptus is a huge bonus as far as I’m concerned – I simply LOVE the stuff. I’d consider buying a tin of this one!

1/4 tsp, boiling water. No additions.

Preparation
Boiling

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30

More wake-up tea. I think I knew it, but this week is being really tricky from a “getting back into routine” perspective. I liked being on holiday rather too much, I think, and I got used to the more relaxed mornings. Now it’s all back to normal, I’m having SUCH a hard time re-adjusting. It’s almost painful. Tea helps, though!

I’ve neglected trying this one for a while, partly because it worries me a little. Plain yerba is quite earthy and bitter-tasting to me, and while I don’t mind that in loose leaf (because I can adjust steep times to my preference), the idea of powdered yerba scared me a little. I was expecting a very strong, dank-tasting brew, but I was so in need of energy this morning that I pushed my reservations to one side and made up a cup anyway.

I used 1/4 tsp of powder, and stirred it into a cup of boiling water. It turns out a deep khaki green colour, and I took my first sip tentatively. Honestly, I needn’t really have worried. What I hadn’t realised is that this isn’t really plain yerba – it’s LIQUORICE ROOT and yerba. As we know, liquorice root is the devil. The first sip put me in no doubt as to just how far across the spectrum this is from the bitter, earthy dankness I was expecting. It’s so, so overpoweringly sweet, it’s almost unreal.

I left it for a bit, because I really don’t like the way that liquorice root seems to stick at the back of my throat in its artificial sweetner-esque way. It had cooled a bit when I returned to it, and this way it’s actually a lot more palatable. Once cooled, it’s possible to taste some of the earthiness underneath the liquorice, which comes as a much needed counterpoint in this cup. The sweetness recedes a little, and although it’s still the main flavour it’s a little less intense. As with my other Chi Whole Leaf teas, much of the powder has settled in a sludge at the bottom of the cup. I don’t try and keep it suspended with constant stirring, because the thick, slightly grainy texture that provides is really not for me. Perhaps the settling is the reason for the less intense flavour? If so then it can only be considered a good thing in this case.

I’m not a fan of this one, but I suspect that’s largely because I don’t like liquorice root, and I didn’t realise it was in this blend until I took a sip. I think a lighter hand with the liquorice would have helped a little, though, because when it settles and cools it’s actually more drinkable than I would have suspected at first sip. I might drink the rest of this sample in cold water, because I think based on this experience that it would be more refreshing that way. Despite the name, there’s not really much yerba to be found here, at least in terms of flavour. It might be there in the blend, but you wouldn’t know it to taste.

Preparation
Boiling
Memily

THE DEVIL.

Nicole/Tea-Historic

I’ll second that – The Devil.

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45

A sample from Chi Whole Leaf. This is the second of the five samples from Chi Whole Leaf that I’ve tried, and I picked it out this morning because it seems that I’m simultaneously terrified of it, and looking forward to it the most. The powder appears to be less finely ground than the other samples, and it’s possible to see much larger flecks of it both dry and when mixed with water. I used 1/2 tsp of powder for my cup, and mixed it into boiling water. The powder rose to the surface this time, creating an orangey foam, which was unexpected and a little disconcerting. The liquor itself is a deep dark red, as I’d expect from anything with hibiscus in it.

I left this one to sit for a few minutes, and the surface “foam” mostly dissipates. The powder is still visibly suspended in the water, though, and it creates a rather unpleasantly grainy sipping texture. The flavour itself is milder than I expected – it’s tart and sour in characteristic hibiscus fashion, but not mouth puckeringly so, and there’s a pleasant floral in the mid sip that does remind me of rose. It’s not particularly well defined, though, so if you’re looking for a clear “rose” flavour you’ll be disappointed. There’s supposed to be jasmine, but I can’t detect that at all. Mostly, it comes across as a hibiscus blend, with a hint of floral. Pleasant enough, but not amazing. It’s also quite “flat” tasting – there’s no aftertaste, and none of the flavours really seem to last beyond the immediate sip. I wanted to like this one, but I have to say that it’s really odd stuff, and not really my cup of tea groan at all. While I appreciate the chance to try these, so far I’m not sold on them at all.

Preparation
Boiling

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50

A sample from Chi Whole Leaf. I remember these arriving a while ago, but for some reason I never got around to trying them, and then stuff happened and I’m only just getting back on track. It’s pretty cold, rainy and miserable today, so I figured ginger chai would be a good thing to have. I’ve never tried powdered tea before, other than matcha (and that only recently), so I’m intrigued to see how it works out. I used 1/4 tsp of the powdered leaf, and used an electric whisk to mix it into a cup of hot water. I added a splash of milk to round things off because, well, it’s chai!

The dry powder smells wonderful – very cinnamon-heavy and reminiscent of those lebkuchen biscuits my family typically buy at Christmas. To taste, it’s thinner somehow than I was expecting. The hot water seems more prominent than it would with a normal loose leaf tea, which surprises me a bit. I was expecting maybe a thicker mouthfeel if anything, given that the powdered leaf is actually in the cup as opposed to just infused and removed…

The flavour is interesting, too. I’m not sure that I really get ginger, per se. I definitely get cinnamon – and quite a sharp cinnamon at that. It’s not as sweet or mellow as I would have liked. There’s a lingering spiciness/heat at the back of my throat that could be ginger, but it doesn’t really taste like ginger usually does. The most prominent flavour, for me, is rooibos. It’s a little woody and earthy, and while it pairs pretty well with cinnamon/ginger in my head, it’s kind of taking over things here. I’m going to be honest and say I’m a little half-hearted about this one. The flavour isn’t quite what I wanted it to be, although the spiciness comes out more and more with successive sips so it’s not a total fail. I liked trying something new, and the whole leaf powder is definitely an easy and convenient concept. No waiting around, no infuser to clean and wash. It’s perfect for a busy morning. I wouldn’t add this particular flavour to my cupboard in any quantity, but I have four other Chi samples left to try, so I’m hopeful that one of those might be more my thing.

ETA: One thing I did realise as I got towards the end of my cup is that the powder doesn’t stay mixed. Most of it, in fact, appears to be sitting at the bottom of my mug in a kind of waterlogged sludge. Not good if you happen to inadvertently swallow a mouthful, let me tell you.

Preparation
Boiling

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91

Thanks to Chi Whole Leaf for the samples! This was easily my favorite of the bunch. It’s a light and spicy chai, with the dominant flavors being cinnamon, ginger, and anise. I used a milk frother to blend the powder into cold rice milk. The powder stayed suspended in the rice milk very well – only a small bit of settling at the bottom. I like that this is caffeine-free, so I can have it with dinner. It goes especially nicely with spicy Thai food. Yum.

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I personally dislike yerba maté because it has a weird earthy taste, but I was willing to try this tea because the presentation is so unusual. However, I barely made it beyond a sip or two. The earthiness of the yerba maté mixed with the overwhelming sweetness of the licorice root to create something that was overpowering and highly unpleasant in my mouth.

I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I poured the whole thing out after only a few sips. This tea was not for me.

Full review at http://booksandtea.ca/2015/09/chi-whole-leaf-tea-reviews/

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The taste was much milder and smoother than I expected — the flavour of hibiscus was there, but I think the rose was more prominent. I added about half a spoonful of agave nectar and the sweetness helped bring out the fruity, jammy quality of the rose. I didn’t taste much jasmine, though.

As I continued to drink through the cup, the tartness of the hibiscus became more apparent, though it manifested less as a taste and more as a sensation of crinkling on my tongue. It’s interesting, but I would have preferred something a bit less astringent. The dry powder of this one was slightly less finely ground up than the others because individual flecks were more easily visible in the water.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/09/chi-whole-leaf-tea-reviews/

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I’m happy to say that of the 5 teas that Chi Whole Leaf offers, Ginger Chai was my favourite.

The strongest thing I tasted of this tea was the rooibos, oddly enough, rather than the ginger, cloves, or cinnamon. But like I said above, it’s fruity and peppery. (Perhaps the pepper note was just the ginger in disguise.) I think that the spices are helping to smooth out the rooibos.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/09/chi-whole-leaf-tea-reviews/

Kaylee

It was my favorite of the 5 too!

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Sipdown!

My throat has been rather annoying lately – it feels like it’s about to come down with a cold, but it never actually commits to being sore and sick. I don’t have a lot of mint in my cupboard but I do have this tea, so I thought I’d just baby myself a bit.

I kinda wish I’d get sick, though – my immune system is so wishy-washy.

Fjellrev

Me too with the sore throat! Two days in a row now. So odd.

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With this tea, the strongest taste was of the eucalyptus; the mint complemented it. I wasn’t getting much of a green tea taste, but I was getting a sense of herbal acridness at the back of my mouth. I’m assuming that this acrid note is a byproduct of all 5 samples being shipped in the same envelope — they all smell faintly the same, despite having diverse ingredients. With the combination of mint and eucalyptus, I bet this tea would be great to drink while having a cold. I could feel the back of my throat and it made my sinuses tingle a bit.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/09/chi-whole-leaf-tea-reviews/

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The powder and the tea were a murky khaki colour. I could definitely smell the chamomile when the water hit the powder, but I also got a strong sense of peppermint when I drank it. The overall taste was of chamomile with a light hint of peppermint in my sinuses; the aftertaste was somewhat dry and chalky. I should note that, like other reviewers, I found that the powder for this blend didn’t dissolve well. It collected into a sludge at the bottom of my cup after I first mixed it together.

Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/09/chi-whole-leaf-tea-reviews/

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55

Water: 6oz

Leaves: Tea Powder

Steep: Instant

Aroma: unusual

Color: Light murky green

Taste: The aroma of this tea was quite odd i couldn’t pinpoint what it reminded me of if anything. I was similar to the mint tea in color but lighter. The taste was different compared to the other it was has a sweetness to it that faded in and out. Bland one second sweet the next. I must note the texture wasn’t as noticeable. I was able to take multiple sips from this cup so that says a lot in itself. This tea is an tricky one better than the others with hard to pinpoint flavors. This brings the Chi Whole leaf reviews to a close.

Thank you Chi Whole Leaf for this sample

Preparation
Boiling 6 OZ / 177 ML

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50

Water: 6oz

Leaves: Tea Powder

Steep: Instant

Aroma: Ginger

Color: light rust orange

Taste: Upon adding the powder to the cup my first thought on it’s appearance was it looked like taco seasoning due to the light rusty orange color . Adding water it transformed into a deep dark orange tone with scent of ginger. As for taste was more so like drinking hot water w/ no flavor and a hint of bitterness.

Thank you Chi Whole Leaf for this sample

Preparation
Boiling 6 OZ / 177 ML

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50

Water: 6oz

Leaves: Tea Powder

Steep: Instant

Aroma: Soft mint

Color: Murky Olive Green

Taste: I can start of by saying the aroma of this tea was nice,not strong mint as you would get from pure peppermint but rather soft. This time I did something completely different and used boiled water instead of letting it cool as i normally would. I saw other tea reviews used hot water so i decided to give it a go. The color was a murky olive green with no clarity. I also noticed as this tea sat it tends to separate you can swirl it and see the changes. As for the taste it was bland, very bitter & unpleasant. I couldn’t finish taking my third sip, another cup I couldn’t drink. Three reviews down two more to go~

Thank you Chi Whole Leaf for this sample

Preparation
Boiling 6 OZ / 177 ML

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50

Water: 6oz

Leaves: Tea Powder

Steep: Instant

Aroma: Floral

Color: Dark rose

Taste: This was the first tea of the ones sent to me. As for the steeping process I used 1/4 teaspoon to 6oz of water. I started out with a smaller amount due to me not being sure how I would like this tea. The color was a pretty dark rose.I brought my water to a boil and let it cool a bit before mixing since this was my first time i expected the powder to dissolve when stirred with a spoon but that wasn’t the case. As for flavor I noticed the texture more so & not much taste. I couldn’t finish my cup due to the combination of the two. Hopefully my last 3 teas in this set I’ll have better luck.

Thank you Chi Whole Leaf for this sample

Preparation
6 OZ / 177 ML

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65

I like the mint in this tea, but like others, I wasn’t able to get all of the powder to dissolve like I was hoping it would. It was kind of like drinking the last bit of the ramen broth—all the powder that you just chug at the end. The taste was good, though. I’ll have to experiment and see if I can get the powder to dissolve better. :)

Flavors: Mint

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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50

Water: 6oz

Leaves: Tea Powder

Steep: Instant

Aroma: Chamomile

Color: Olive

Taste: This actually wasn’t the first tea I tried in the samples sent to me. I didn’t have luck with the first tea at all (didn’t write about). I decided I would try this one using a different technique. The closest I’ve come to this tea in the past would be Matcha. Upon opening the mini sample packet I picked up on the faint aroma of chamomile measured out that I needed. Instead of putting it in a cup, I added the powder to a medium sized bowl, boiled my water & let it cool for 6 minutes to reach the proper temperature. After it was all poured in the bowl over the powder. I then attempted to use my wire whisk to combine the two. The outcome wasn’t pretty I was hoping this time the powder would dissolve but it didn’t it just sat there as I whisked. It was very granular w/ fine clumps settling to the bottom, as the tea liquid floated on top. Some particles sat on top of that and wouldn’t mix in. The appearance reminded me of my Japanese seaweed powder cleansing conditioner. The aroma remained faint, from there I transferred it to my cup. In terms of clarity it was cloudy/murky the granular clumps sank. As for my first sip I got some fine clumps included and that wasn’t pleasant, drinking tea with texture. As for the taste it was like drinking water with a hint of taste not much of anything distinguished. Overall I didn’t find it enjoyable & couldn’t finish the cup after taking a few sips. Even though I used a different technique the result was the same. If you’ve had any luck with these tea please tell me what you did to achieve a desirable result.

Thank you Chi Whole Leaf for this sample
Preparation
6 OZ / 177 ML

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94

Wow. Gotta say this tea really is amazing. I have always been a fan of the almost honey like apple flavor associated with chamomile tea. This has got the flavor down PERFECTLY. This tea is amazing also in calming the drinker. I feel sleepy just typing this review. The only thing I could say negative about this tea is just how cloudy and clumped the liquor is, even with 3 solid minutes of whisking VIGOROUSLY in the chawan. But honestly, that doesn’t matter. This tea is delicious. Just a little messy is all. Sorry tomorrow-me! This was the last tea I sampled by chi whole leaf, and it is the best by far. Hats off to you guys. Now I am going to catch some zzz’s…

Flavors: Apple, Dandelion, Dry Grass, Flowers, Hay, Honey, Lemongrass, Mint

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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90

This is a very tasty chai! Of all the teas so far, this one is definitely a favorite. There is a burn in the back of the throat often associated with ginger beer that I adore. I normally dislike rooibois, but this is actually really good mixed with the spices, giving it a vanilla taste with the earthy and spicy cinnamon and cloves. Overall, a very good tea and I would thoroughly recommend it.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Earth, Ginger, Rooibos, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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60

This tea is very tart with hibiscus as the prevalent flavor. I am having trouble picking up any of the rose or jasmine flowers. Not a favorite for myself overall, but for those hibiscus lovers out there, this is a marvelous tea to try. The tartness almost reminds me of a grapefruit. The liqour is very pretty and smells wonderful. I am however cautious to recommend this to anyone unless I am sure they like hibiscus.

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Biting, Citrus, Citrus Fruits, Citrus Zest, Citrusy, Cranberry, Grapefruit, Green Apple, Hibiscus, Lemon, Sour, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 400 ML

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75

Second of the samples I have had. This tea is okay overall. I am generally not a huge fan of mint tea, but for some reason, I can enjoy this particular mint tea. The Peppermint flavor is the largest note here, that has eucalyptus notes hiding behind it. The green part of this tea is masked entirely by these two strong herbs. This tea is very refreshing, hot or iced, and leaves a almost spearminty aftertaste long after the last sip. Very crisp and very fresh. If you like mint, you will like this tea.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Freshly Cut Grass, Herbaceous, Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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64

Very interesting take on yerba mate. I have always associated a very vibrant bitter taste with yerba mate, yet this blend really tones the bitterness down and allows for the licorice to shine through, giving this tea a very sweet flavor. I added no sugar at all to this tea, yet it feels like I did, with the first sip. The licorice overpowers the mate flavor at first allowing the sweetness to hit the palate first, and this is then followed by the earthy grassy tobacco and wood taste I have associated with yerba mate. Overall, an excellent tea if you like sweet teas. I probably won’t get any more of this because I don’t care for this intense of sweetness, but I can definitely recommend it to any who do like that flavor! Last note I have about this tea is the amount of caffiene. I was almost falling asleep, but this tea jolted me up. It works fast.

Flavors: Anise, Brown Sugar, Dark Wood, Dry Grass, Dust, Earth, Licorice, Sugar, Sweet, Tobacco, Winter Honey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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62

Thanks to Chi Whole Leaf for sending me this sample!

I used 1 tsp of powder stirred into 8 oz of boiling water. Like most powdered teas, the powder settled at the bottom no matter how much I stirred. This tea smells like cozy chamomile and mint. The flavor reminds me of Bonomelli’s chamomile – strong sweet apple notes. This came out a little thin once the powder settled, so I pulled out my trusty milk frother for a better blend. I still ended up with some clumping of the ground flowers. The company warns that this is likely to happen, but it still isn’t exactly appealing in either appearance or added texture in the sip. I like the taste of this but ultimately I can’t get over the weird texture (nor do I have the patience to strain my tea). Sipdown!

Flavors: Apple, Mint

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