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Posts Tagged ‘chai’

White Masala Chai 2To be fair, I must start this post off stating that I am completely biased when it comes to Chai – I simply love it.  Even though, I do not profess to be enamored with black tea, there is something special about a cup of Chai. A traditional drink from India, I was first introduced many years ago to Chai Tea Lattes at Starbucks.  At that time I thought, who drinks tea with milk in it? Surprisingly, the taste was amazing. As my interest in tea blossomed into loose tea, I stopped purchasing the Starbucks version and began making my own with blends purchased from Harney and Sons initially and later Yogic Chai. Yogic Chai, really opened my eyes to the possibilities of Chai. Especially when I discovered White Masala Chai - the subject of today’s tea review. 

Composition: Organic Bai Mu Dan (white tea), Organic Cinnamon, Organic Green Cardamom, Organic Cloves, Organic Ginger

Dry Visual: An amazing blend of dark and green broken and whole leaves and buds. A mixture of small yellow, orange, green, and brown chunks of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger. Some stems are present. Many thanks to Yogic Chai for the photo.

Dry Aroma: Sweet yet spicy – absolutely delicious to inhale.

Flavor:  Never having the opportunity to drink a cup of White Masala Chai, I was truly intrigued by what this experience might bring. I must admit that I really enjoyed this tea. Unlike a traditional Chai made with black tea (most often Assam) White Masala Chai is not pungent or powerful tasting tea. This is not to be construed with a lack of flavor. Characteristic of white teas, the tea in this brew was mild yet flavorful. The addition of the spices – cardamom, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon were definitely evident, but blended in proportion to the strength of the Bai Mu Dan. White Masala Chai is natually sweet and spicy.

A couple of things to note: There was no astringency and no sweetener is required (Yogic Chai even recommends not adding sweetener) – I did drink both with and without sugar. I preferred with sugar, because the flavor of the spices were enhanced. Additionally, milk is not recommended nor was it added – a common way of preparing Chai. The mildness of the Bai Mu Dan could not stand up against the power of milk. White Masala Chai is full-bodied or as some like to say heavy in the mouth, but smooth. 

Liquor: A rich gold hue.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 2 – 3 if the ingredients are allowed to come to boil  in a small pot. Unfortunately, I was at work and without kitchen amenities. Thus I steeped for 10 minutes tasting at intervals in water less than 190 degrees F.

Manufacturer: Yogic Chai

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of White Masala Chai, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Coco ChaiWhile many people think of iced tea as the method of choice for drinking tea, you will find here on Tea Escapade that I will continue to drink hot tea. There is something wonderful about holding a steaming cup of tea in my hands and inhaling the wonderful, steaming aroma of tea. Watching whole leaf teas unfurl and the enveloping sense of peace that comes from sitting still for even just a moment. Today’s tea choice… CoCo Chai Tea

Composition: Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, red peppercorns, shredded coconut, natural flavors.

Dry Visual: Very color like potpourri – with reds, and yellows, rust and light brown. Various textures as well, from the bark like appearance of rooibos to the circular peppercorns to the actual strips of coconut instead of coconut flavoring. Thanks Mighty Leaf Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and spicy – coconut and cardamom dominate with a hint of cinnamon. There is nothing quite like the smell of chai – in all of its many varieties the aroma steals the show.

Flavor:  An herbal tea,  CoCo Chai is absolutely delicious. While I tend to not drink a great deal of flavored teas, it is always nice to incorporate one into my tea routine. The rooibos dominates this brew with its nutty flavor and is complimented by hints of spiciness. As alluded to in the dry aroma, I found the coconut  flavor had a significant presence in the flavor profile from start to finish. This was followed by the combined tastes of cardamom and cinnamon. I was unable to distinguish the taste of the peppercorns initially – perhaps that had something to do with the fact that I was unsure what they were supposed to taste like.  Of course, I reopened the tea blend, found a peppercorn and popped it in my mouth. It was peppery but sweet. After eating the peppercorn and taking another sip of CoCo Chai, I could definitely taste its subtle influence.

One could easily drink CoCo Chai without sweetener as there is no astringency whatsoever.  However, I found that I preferred adding a little but of sugar. In my opinion sweetener softens what I would describe the “tart” nature of Rooibus.

Liquor: A bold rustic hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for CoCo Chai is 5 to 7  minutes in 202 degree water (or a rolling boil).  I steeped for 7 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: No.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of CoCo Chai, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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teaescapadespumpkinspicechai-52teas

Twitter has become my new place for meeting and connecting on a regular basis with other tea lovers. While our only place to meet and chat is the Online, I feel like my life is enriched a little bit everyday by the tidbits of knowledge, tea tips, and random postings about current events, personal achievements, and life in general.

While on Twitter, I learned about 52 Teas, a project of Zoomdweebie’s Tea.  52 Teas is committed to bringing you a new small batch custom blended hand-crafted tea EVERY WEEK.  This is achieved by asking customers to help decide what to blend.  If you have an idea for a tea blend, simply sign in to their forums and post your request there. 52 Teas will make it happen. I did – and the results manifested in Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai, which was featured during the week ending January 3, 2009. Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai was featured once again, “due to popular demand”, during the week ending January 23, 2009. 

Composition: Assam tea, ginger root pieces, cinnamon, green cardamom, and natural and/or artificial flavors.

Dry Visual: A colorful blend of dark brown, almost black, tea mixed with large chunky pieces of yellow (ginger), light green (cardamom), and brick red (cinnamon).

Dry Aroma: A pungent, almost overpowering, spicy mix – what I assume to be the pumpkin flavor is dominant followed by the cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger.

Flavor: Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai has a robust, spicy flavor as the dry aroma suggests. A typical characteristic of chai tea that I love. The black tea is blended well with the other flavors, creating a complex cup of tea – starting with cinnamon and finishing with ginger. I steeped several cups before writing this review in an attempt to gain further insight into the flavor profile. While the pumpkin aroma is quite powerful in the dry blend, I was unable to decipher its presence in the liquor.

As with most black teas, especially assam, Pumpkin Spiced Chai Tea requires the addition of sweetener. I tasted one cup with milk and honey; another with milk and sugar; and yet another with sugar alone. My preference is with sugar alone as it curbs the astringency nicely.

Liquor: A rich reddish-brown  hue.

Brewing Time: It is recommended that black teas are brewed for an average of 3 – 5 minutes at a temperature of approximately 212 degrees. I steeped for both 4 and 5 minutes finding a mild dryness at both temperatures.

Manufacturer: 52 Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you love chai, which I do, you may find Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai to be the tea for you. If you have experienced this chai tea, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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