Tea Chai TeEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Last night I had all the telltale signs of a sinusy cold coming on — pain between the eyes, drippy nose, horse throat, exhausted by 7 pm — so the tea I decided to bring to work today is one I picked up at the Tea Chai Te teashop in Portland on vacation last spring when the rainy Portland weather was also getting to my throat. I’m a very “spice-sensitive” person and just looking at the leaf is a bit intimidating, as it /looks/ very ginger-heavy, but a tea full of Vitamin C-rich hibiscus, rosehips, and citrus, and spicy throat-soothing ginger and licorice root was exactly what I was feeling.
I’m always amused when I brew hibiscus teas at work, because they come out purple instead of red (and I use the filtered water here! I seriously have to wonder about the water quality at the library sometimes…) Color aside, though the tea does have a nice heat to it, it wasn’t near as off-putting as I was fearing. I can’t taste the licorice root, but I think it adds enough natural sweetness to help tame some of the spiciness, and the hibiscus and rose hip give the tea a rich, tart base which grounds it a lot as well (and I have one of those tongues that takes tart flavors very well). There is a distinct orangey citrusy flavor to the base, followed by a burst of gingery heat. It’s a bit like an orange version of a lemon ginger tea, but more punchy due to the hibiscus, and the ginger notes are a lot stronger than I tend to find in most lemon gingers. It’s a bit spicy for me to drink this as a daily drinker, but this is a good, strong “throat tea” for a cold. Chock full of Vitamin C and herbs good for a sensitive throat.
Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Ginger, Hibiscus, Orange, Spicy, Tart
This is one of the custom chais I picked up from Tea Chai Te, a tea shop I found on vacation in Portland last March that I absolutely adored (this was actually the first pot my friend and I shared at the shop, and I ended up taking some of this blend home with me!) This is an herbal chai blend that is like a spicy Mexican hot chocolate; the base is delicious Guittard cocoa powder, mixed with chai spices! Despite not having a strong black tea base, this by no means is not a chai without a bite, and I can’t imagine anyone being able to take this chai plain; it steeps a very dark color, like dark chocolate in a cup, has a very bittersweet bite (much like straight baking chocolate), and is very, very spicy! This is a chai meant to be taken with milk and sugar! I like to use just a little chocolate almond milk, since then I don’t have to fuss with finding just the right amount of sweetener, since the milk already has a sweet touch. I tend to take this one with a 3/4s tea to 1/4 milk ratio, just to make it nice and creamy, balance out the spices, and sweeten out the cocoa a bit.
This is a great chai if you like cocoa with a kick! It has a rich chocolately flavor, but there is a bit of spicy heat right at the back of the tongue in the finish. There is a faint peppery note on the tip of the tongue and some cardamom notes, but the dominant flavor for me is a hot gingery flavor, which compliments the chocolate well. The tea is pretty versatile, and more or less milk and sweetener can be added to your tastes depending on how spicy (or not spicy) you enjoy taking your foods. I’m the sort of person that has to take 0-stars on my Thai food, and find this a pretty robust chai, but can handle it fine with the right sweetened milk. If you are particularly sensitive to ginger (or don’t like ginger) then this probably isn’t the chai for you. If you like spicy-choco, I’d recommend giving this a try!
Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate, Ginger, Pepper, Spicy
Needs a lot of leaf! After you brew it, I think it smells much stronger than it tastes. First brew was done at 2 minutes, second at 4. I haven’t tried a third, the second was still alright so it could be worth it.
Feels better warm than hot.
First steep is primarily a black tea with fruity aromas.
Second steep (steep forever) is so good when it’s cooled down to warm-ish. The fruity flavours come out, and a nice nutty mouthfeel at the end.
Doesn’t get bitter. Increasing the rating!
Flavors: Fruity, Nutty
Alright, second time trying.
Second steep is now alright, but I am using a LOT of tea. 2.5 tsp for 350ml!
Fruity flavours are starting to come through. It’s not that cost-effective when you compare it to higher quality tea that can be resteeped multiple times though.
Flavors: Lemon, Strawberry
Quite weak, need to add more leaf, and even then the flavours (strawberry, lemon) are just hints. The leaf quality doesn’t seem that great either even though it’s full leaf.
Second steep was drinkable but not amazing. I wouldn’t bother with a third.
Flavors: Lemon, Strawberry
Whoa, I have never smelled a tea that smells so much like coffee!!! It a little weird to be honest. For the record, I don’t know anything about yerba mate. The taste is really light and toasty. The buttery macadamia nut is nicely complemented by the mellow vanilla flavor. Also, it kicked out my headache, so yay.
Flavors: Coffee, Marzipan, Nutty, Vanilla
This oolong had such a bizarre taste! I had to brew it a few times to figure it out, but I couldn’t. Wishing I could explain this tea, I am unable to as I haven’t had anything like it. Fantastic dark oolong, but for an oolong it does have this slight bitterness on the aftertaste within the mouth feel. Not sure is all Gaba oolongs are the same, but if they are then it is something to try for sure as it might be someones favorite.
Tea Chai Te didn’t have a decent description of this one on its website, so I honestly wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. But since I’ve only had roasted TGYs before so I decided to pick up an oz just to try it out. There also weren’t any brewing instructions so I winged it and did my usual green oolong brew of 1tsp of tea in 7oz for 2 minutes in 190º water.
It tastes like rich raw honey dipped in water. Maybe a little bit of a green taste at the back of the sip, but mostly just rich rich honey. Not at all like I was expecting. I thought the Yue Guang Bai cake from Puerhshop tasted like honey, but this blows that one out of the water. If you gave this to a non tea-drinker I’m positive they wouldn’t believe you hadn’t added the honey yourself.
Tea Cha Te doesn’t get that much press on here, but I’ve been very happy with them. They ship quickly, I think their prices are fair, and I’ve enjoyed all of the teas I received from them. In this past order I picked up an oz of three different tea, but all weighed closer to 50g which was a very nice surprise. I definitely recommend checking them out.
There weren’t many instructions on the package for this tea, just steep for 3 minutes. No note of amount or water temp, so I made my best guess and used 1 tsp in 7oz with ~185º water.
It turned out pretty well, even though I thought it would be a bit light. This tastes very similar to DTH’s Organic Yunnan black tea, with that deep savory caramel note. It has a light mouthfeel, but the flavor is quite rich. There’s a little bit of fruitiness, but it’s mostly caramel. Not at all what I was expecting, but I really enjoy it.
An unusual oolong that reminded me of buttered popcorn in taste and especially in smell (in a good way). It has a creamy flavor to it – a pleasant departure from the expected. I rated it a 75 in that I enjoyed it but I don’t know anything about its quality or origin. I might update my rating after I learn more. I recommend this tea to adventurous palates but not those expecting a traditional oolong flavor.
Flavors: Butter, Popcorn
Another rose tea disappointment. The dry tea had a promising, fresh flowery scent—not too loud, but perceptible and pleasant. I steeped it for 2 minutes as suggested. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a trace of rose or anything else, for that matter, in the brewed tea. It would be nice as a basic black tea as it is fairly mild and not astringent, but that’s not what I was hoping for in a tea called Rose Petal. (The tea does contain petals and looks pretty.) Oh, well, moving on…
I am trying Vanilla Rose Chai today. The aroma is just heavenly in the bag! The tea looks beautiful, too, with its bright rose petals. The company suggests brewing it for 6 minutes. Because it is black tea, I prefer to brew it for 3-4 minutes, but I decided to experiment and brewed it twice: once for 3.5 minutes and once for 5. It didn’t affect much the aroma or the flavor of the steeped tea, but brewing it for 5 times made it stronger for me.
I’ve been looking for a good, prominent rose scent in a tea cup. While the scent of the vanilla and rose is quite prominent when the tea is dry, in the cup itself, the vanilla is very subtle. I could smell it, but tasting it was a different matter. The rose, unfortunately, didn’t make an appearance for me in the brewed tea. So, basically, I taste the black tea leaves, with some subtle vanilla. There is a slight citrus aftertaste.
I wanted to love this tea: it smells beautiful, and what could be better than vanilla and rose? It is also organic! However, I am looking for a bolder taste (not just smell) of the vanilla, and I certainly want to feel the rose not only when it’s dry. If someone is looking for an organic black tea with a subtle vanilla scent, this would be a good option. I’ll keep looking…
thanks TeaEqualsBliss for sending this in a trade a while back. On the site searching for steeping notes, I noticed it mentioned that this was a 1st Place Winner in Oregon’s First State Tea Competition – Sept. 2, 2011. Nice! This seemed to me more of a chai than anything medicinal! The tea looks better than in this picture. There are many colors in the blend! The steep color is a bright orange. The taste is a pretty solid chai… the type not mixed with black tea which is nice sometimes. I like the addition of the licorice… it adds something special! (Even though the tea I had yesterday also had licorice.) Nice and spicy!
This is one of the samples from my box from LiberTEAS, and also one of the only teas I specifically requested. Rose and chai are two of my favorite things, so it was a winner before I even tried it! She was nice enough to send me the last she had of this blend, enough for 3 or even 4 cups (not counting re-steeps). That sample box was probably the best tea-related things I’ve ever purchased—it’s been about a month since I got it and I’ve been trying to taste one of the samples every 2 days or so, but so far I have only actually run out of ONE kind! Okay, sorry this is sounding like a paid advertizement, I just get a little giddy whenever I look at how much stuff from it I have left to taste/finish~
Anyway, the tea. I love floral teas, creamy teas, and chai: all of those elements are very prevalent here. It’s floral, but not overpoweringly so, and I’ve always found rose to be the “sweetest” floral scent so it adds a nice balance to the spices. The chai part is warming, not too spicy but it has a great mouth-feel. There’s not a ton of ginger and I don’t think any pepper, which is what usually gives you that “heat”. This blend has more aromatic spices—cardamom, cinnamon, clove, maybe a little allspice? They work SO well with the rose. Then there’s that creaminess from the vanilla, perfectly balancing the spice/floral so nothing is overpowering and everything is in harmony. This is one of the best chais I’ve tasted and is most definitely going on my shopping list!
Oh yum! YUM!!! This is the third tea that I picked up at Tea Chai Te, and I think this is a newer blend because it isn’t even on their website.
It is amazingly good – the spices are warm (not spicy hot). I taste the cardamom and the cinnamon primarily, and the vanilla is quite strong too. It is smooth and creamy, giving this cup a very luxurious kind of taste. The touch of rose is a delicate note, but it does much to add to the luxurious taste. Exotic, sweet, and absolutely irresistible – it is difficult to put the cup down long enough to type!