Vanilla Caramel Chai/Tazo

A little while back the SororiTea Sisters shared teas in a traveling tea box. One of the sisters was kind enough to share several tea bags of Tazo’s Vanilla Caramel Chai. I grabbed a couple bags to try since vanilla and caramel are both flavors I usually love and lately I have been trying more and more chais and enjoying them.

Tazo’s Vanilla Caramel Chai is a black tea with cinnamon, licorice root, ginger, black pepper, cloves, and natural flavors. The licorice root has me a bit nervous but hopefully the other flavors hide the typical cloying sweetness of the licorice root.

Normally I would make chais as a latte but with only two tea bags, I didn’t think I had enough leaf for that. Consequently, I am trying the tea plain first but may add a splash of milk to get that latte creaminess.

Sipping on it now I am happy to report that the licorice root is nicely masked. There is a lot of cinnamon in the scent of the steeped tea which transfers over to the taste. I also get a ribbon of clove running through the sip. It is sweet and though I can smell vanilla caramel, nothing distinctly reflects that in flavor other than sweet.

I added a little bit of milk and unfortunately it doesn’t do much for taste. This tea is still cinnamon heavy though there is perhaps a bit less clove now.

Some people don’t like too much spice from their chai blends and if you are one of those people, this could be a nice option for you. As for me, I think spice is the whole point of having a chai and this falls short. I would happily forgive the lack of spice if it was in favor of highlighting the vanilla caramel but this falls short there too. It’s not bad per se but there is nothing all that great either.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tazo Tea

Description

How do you make a great cup of chai tea taste even better? You add rich notes of vanilla, delectable caramel, and the classic spices of chai into the boldest black teas. It’s a sweet twist on a spicy favorite. It’s not just better. It’s better-er.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

photo credit:  Tazo Tea

Green Tea Masala Chai/Vahdam Teas

I have been seeing Vahdam Tea in the news lately and thought a spicy cup of chai would settle me right in for the night.

This isn’t your traditional black tea boiled with water and milk and heavily sugared. This is a fine darjeeling green with cardamom (YUM!), cinnamon, and clove. When I pour the dry leaves out to investigate them, it LOOKS like black tea, but don’t be fooled. Darjeeling tastes best to me prepared with slightly lower temperature water and a short steep to keep astringency low. If you like very brisk tea, increase your temp and time.

The green darjeeling is a tad brisk. The long boiling time of traditional chai makes the tea strong and bitter or astringent, and that is why milk and sugar are added, and a good dollop of milk, too! I am not adding anything to this, though, and it is enjoyable just as it is. The spices are at a great level for me. I have never been a fan of chai made with tons of black peppercorns, and I really feel that the cardamom and cinnamon lead the spices in this one. The scent of the dry leaves and the steeped tea is scrumptious.

And it is working! The strong flavors of the tea are keeping my cravings at bay and I don’t feel deprived at all.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Vahdam Teas

Description

A superior green tea blend with the finest, aromatic Indian spices for a unique Chai experience!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Masala Chai / Shafa Blends

Shafa blends is a quaint little store located in an unassuming business strip mall.

We were in Baltimore for my Grandma’s funeral. Going right before her funeral may seem like it was a weird idea and ok it really probably was but who really is in a good state of mind before a funeral?

I wanted to give you this back story because it ties in with the rest. We walked into the store and we were greeted by the nicest lady. Throughout the course of our few minutes there she was incredibly kind, even without knowing our circumstances. When asking what I was in for today I said for their spicy chai.

She wanted to be sure I was ready for the spice level, I assured her I was. Now as I sit here drinking two cups of it, one with milk and one without, I can’t help but think of my grandma who was somewhat of a spicy lady. One of my favorite stories from her is when her family, 11 in all not sure of how many were there then, were all seated around the table and there was an argument.

My grandma lost the fork she had been waving around and it ended up piercing the ear of one of my aunts. Sounds kinda terrifying writing it but everyone laughs with tears rolling down there faces whenever it is told.

My apologies for digressing from the main topic but I thought I would deviate a little from my usual writing. For those who are curious this truly is a perfect spicy chai. Great with milk or on its own. When on its own it elicits an even spicer tone but the first touch on the palette is clear and silky. Don’t be fooled though as this quickly turns around and punches you in the throat. The after taste is spicy. A minute late after finishing and I still have a spicy sensation.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Shafa Blends

Description:

Our signature Masala Chai tea has an incredibly aromatic South Indian blend of spices with black tea, impeccable cardamom notes, spicy kick from ginger and black pepper. When you steep this blend in milk, the flavors blend in beautifully, and the addition of a little honey takes the flavors to another level. The longer you steep the tea blend in hot milk or water, the spicier the brew will become (a heat-lovers’ delight).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chai Spice Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha/52Teas. . . .

I let my daughter pick the teas we would drink together during our visits. She loves chai, she loves marshmallow treats, and she loves tea so this was a natural choice out of my box for her to try.

When she started making it, I hadn’t seen that it was a Genmaicha, so when the water hit the infuser basket I thought, “Oh no! Someone must have left coffee in the pot!” Ah no! It was the roasty scent of genmaicha, that comforting burned aroma that smells like warmth in winter time, like a campfire on a late fall night, like a warm mug clutched by frozen fingers.

Add to it the scent of chai spices and you have a real comfort food vibe. This tea has a lot of whole or large spices in it, so stir it up to distribute them according to your liking. We love cardamom and this had lots, giving it a lovely lemony flavor.

The funny thing was that almost together, as I was about to say that these were very pleasant chai spices, one daughter said, “Oh, it’s so cardamom-y!” at the same time the other said, “It tastes like marshmallow!” I think we each picked out our favorite flavors and focused on them.

And the good news is that it resteeps like a champ! Since these are almost all limited edition teas, you want to get all you can out of your favorites.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Chai/Davids Tea. . . . .

Recently I was teaching my brother’s girlfriend how to bake. We might have gotten a little excited though because we ended up making 5 different types of cookies and some walnut fudge. As a result of the fudge, we were left with just a small amount of sweetened condensed milk hanging out in the fridge. Since I’m not quite sure what anyone would have done with it, I thought I’d experiment a bit and try using it in tea…particularly a chai tea and with the recent release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Chai is what immediately came to mind. I planned on using the 52 Teas version of Pumpkin Chai but since I haven’t had it before, I didn’t want to use majority of the packet I had (if not the whole packet) for something that might not turn out. So that’s why I landed on using this Pumpkin Chai tea by DAVIDsTEA instead, a tea that I have actually blogged about before on SororiTea Sisters.

When I looked up recipes for incorporating condensed milk into tea, none were really clear and a lot suggested using it in an iced tea. I decided to go with the iced tea plan and then sort of just winged it. I used 3 perfect teaspoons of leaf in 6 oz of water, steeped per company directions. I filled an 8 oz glass 2/3 of the way with ice. I then put a giant teaspoonful of sweetened condensed milk. When I poured the tea over it, the ice melted but the milk sort of just went to the bottom so I stirred the crap out of it, and since it didn’t quite fill the glass, I topped it with some whipped cream, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

So, since DAVIDsTEA Pumpkin Chai is caramelly, and condensed milk is sweet, and whipped cream is sweet, this was one sweet drink. Not cloying like one would expect but definitely not for those who don’t like sugar. As for me, I’m not bothered by it. The caramel is really boosted here, it’s like drinking liquid caramel actually, with a nice pop of the spices, especially the cinnamon and clove, at the end of the sip. It’s actually quite good but I can’t help but feel this would be even better as a hot tea. Something tells me that would bring out the spices more, creating a richer drink with more contrast between the tea and the condensed milk. Hot, and perhaps a more traditional Chai that doesn’t highlight a caramel sweetness.

So all in all, this experiment worked out quite well I’d say. And since I still have condensed milk left, I’ll probably continue experimenting and try to perfect a recipe.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea

Description

Let’s face it, the best thing about fall is the return of pumpkin spiced lattes. And this rich black tea is the perfect way to kick off the season. It’s got all the warmth of cinnamon and cloves, plus the sweetness of caramel and pumpkin candy. For a true autumn treat, top it up with steamed milk and stir in a spoonful of brown sugar. It’ll make you wish it were fall year round.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!