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Recent Tasting Notes
I received a free sample of this tea. I didn’t like this tea, but that’s only because I do not like regular black teas. My black-tea-eww detector made it such that I only noticed that black tea and not any of the spices. (So far, the only black tea I enjoy is mate.) I think this tea is what finally made me realize that I just don’t like most black tea. I couldn’t finish the cup and had to give it to Steve.
I’ve had this for as long as I’ve had the rooibos and black tea chais that came in this present from my mother, but been drinking it less because I didn’t think I wanted the stimulation of mate. Well, now that I have “donated” the black tea version to my department and am almost done the delicious rooibos chai I am turning my attention to this.
Aaaaaannnnd it’s pretty good, actually. I still don’t need the stimulation, but I enjoy the taste of this enough to drink it anyway. The cinnamon isn’t overblown in this version of their chai- and it actually does taste a bit like a chai I’ve had at an Indian restaurant near me. I’m digging the fennel and anise in this. And for those who don’t like mate, but DO like how it makes them zip, the mate is definitely taking a backseat to the spices here. I don’t know how common mate chais are, but this is a good one so worth giving this little startup tea company some business, I’m thinking.
Alas, drinking chai has failed to make it feel more like winter here in perpetually-hot Houston.
I think this one might be a bit too heavy on the “spicy cinnamon”, which is the first ingredient listed on my canister- even before the black tea. When I open this container I am immediately hit with a blast of the stuff- sadly, it didn’t make my allergies go away and reminded me of walking into a crafts store.
I think with some little candy hearts in here this could easily be re-branded as a Valentines Day “red hots” tea. As for me, I’m not particularly into it. The cinnamon is so strong that it overpowers the rest of the ingredients, so I don’t get any of the typical complexity of a good chai. I particularly am sad to be missing the taste of the orange peel.
Because of the heavy cinnamon I’m not quite sure what to do with the rest of this- dilute it by mixing it with another chai and risk ruining that chai? Bring it to my department and leave it by the hot water cooler (am thinking yes)? Making it into a bath tea and soaking in it? Cinnamon is stimulating and warming after all, and helps with muscle aches.
Er, maybe I’ll just bring it to my department. Unless someone out there wants to swap me some pu-ehr or nifty oolong blend for this. I know some of you really like strong cinnamon and the “red hots” tea blends out there.
My mom got me a groupon for this company’s tea sampler for Christmas. The address on the groupon was in a town very close to where my parents live, and so on the 27th or so we all popped on over there and tried to find it. To… no avail. Apparently the address on the groupon was the location of a farmer’s market where they occasionally sell their wares. Alas for us, it was 40 degrees and raining as we puttered around.
Fortunately, I was able to cash this groupon online, and if we’d read the groupon more carefully we’d all have probably realized that was the intent.
I ordered the chai sampler, the specifics of which are subject to change- and I imagine due to the volume of groupon holders, I ended up with Redbush chai instead of the “rooibos cacao chai” I’d been psyched about. Plus, my tins were maybe half full of tea.
But when I smelled this, all was forgiven. It’s really an exceptional chai. I haven’t had one that tastes this good with just a 5 minute water brew in a long time. I thought the Tea Gschwendner version was awesome, but this makes the top of my list. There are whole aniseeds in it for peet’s sake.
A seriously brilliant, warming, and spicy winter drink.