Organic Masala Chai/Tea Sparrow – Stephenia –

I admit that I love getting tea subscription boxes. Who doesn’t like getting monthly packages with new teas to try? Recently I had the opportunity to try out the Tea Sparrow tea box. Tea Sparrow samples hundreds of teas each month to select blends that they feel will inspire their customers. This means that each month you are guaranteed a whole new selection of tea blends to try. The box comes with 4 teas. I was eager to try them all however since Chai is my favorite tea blend I of course went with that first.

The Masala Chai they sent is the classic blend of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom with the addition of ginger liquid and cinnamon liquid. All the ingredients are organic.

I steeped the tea per the package directions (1 tbsp per 10oz of water using boiling water, let step 4 minutes).

I really loved this blend. It is a mellow chai, the spices are not intense or stand out on their own, rather it is a light mingling of flavor. I especially love these types of chai for an afternoon cuppa when I want a little pick me up but don’t want anything too intense.

I am eager to try the other teas in my box and look forward to my next month’s teas!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy :  Tea Sparrow

Description

Did you know that ‘chai’ means ‘tea’? It’s Masala Chai that means ‘spice tea’ – or ‘chai tea’ as some Westerners like to call it. Except wait, that’s ‘Tea Tea.’ Never mind, just drink it!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!