Chai Spice Only from Chai-Wallah’s

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Chai (Spice Melangé)

Where to Buy:  Chai-Wallah’s

Product Description:

Create your favorite chai drinks by buying your own loose tea(s) and mix with our Spice Only (instructions on rear of packet), or use the spice for a caffeine free cup of chai, make a concentrate for iced chai or add some kick to hot chocolate. Be sure to check out our recipe section for other uses.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve used this Spice Only blend on several occasions and in several different ways.  It is one of the more versatile products in my tea cupboard!  The spices taste fresh and robust, and can help add that chai kick to just about anything!

The first time I used it, I was making a spiced peach jam.  My husband brought home a big box of peaches at the end of the season, and I knew that there was no way we’d be able to eat them all before they went bad.  I mean, we love peaches in this house, but, it was a lot of peaches!  So, I made a concentrated batch of tisane using hot water and this Chai Spice Only blend, allowing it to steep for about 10 minutes before straining and adding it to a pan filled with peeled and chopped peaches and a drizzle of honey.  I heated this over medium-high heat for about an hour, stirring frequently, and the peaches softened and broke down, creating a delicious, perfectly spiced peach jam that made a perfect topping on my pork roast (it also was delicious on scones!)

Then, I decided to try it as a tisane.  Just hot water and this spice, infused for about eight minutes, and a drizzle of honey.  Delicious!  Spicy!  Prefer your chai a little creamier?  Simmer some milk and this Spice Only blend on the stovetop for ten minutes.  This would also work great using apple juice!

But, if you just want a delicious black tea based chai – you can use these spices with your favorite Assam or Nilgiri (or whatever black tea you prefer).   You can use as little or as much as you’d like to customize your chai experience.  Like your chai to be zesty?  Add some more of the Spice Only blend.  Do you just want a hint of spice?  Just add a small amount of the spice.

This Chai Spice Only blend from Chai-Wallah’s is not only tasty, but it gives you something that a typical chai blend doesn’t:  versatility!

Spice with Rooibos from Chai-Wallah’s

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Chai-Wallah’s

Product Description:

Our organic chai spice with Fair Trade Organic Rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) or Red Tea from South Africa. High in antioxidants , low in tannins and caffeine free it has a natural nutty sweet taste which is enhanced the longer it is boiled. Our Rooibos Chai is surprisingly full-bodied and satisfying without the caffeine kick yet soothing any time of the day.

Taster’s Review:

Having tried a few different chai blends from Chai-Wallah’s now, I can say one thing with complete confidence:  you can always count on Chai-Wallah’s to deliver on the spice!  This Spice with Rooibos is no exception.  It is one SPICY chai!

I am really surprised at how much I am liking this, especially given my feelings for rooibos.  But, this tisane has a couple of things going for it that an ordinary rooibos doesn’t have.  First, it’s organic, and as I’ve said before, there is a difference in flavor between the conventionally-grown rooibos and organically-grown rooibos.  Second, this one has a very bold level of spices that doesn’t actually mask the rooibos, but the natural sweet, nutty flavor of the rooibos seems to work perfectly with the spice blend.

As I’ve already mentioned, this is a spicy blend.  However, the spices have a nice harmony going on… the ginger and pepper represent the strongest peppery notes, but the cinnamon also comes on strong, while the cloves and cardamom provide a nice, radiant warmth in the background.

Served hot, I find this to be warm and comforting.  Not a lot of sweetener is needed here, because there is a natural sweetness delivered by the rooibos.  But I do find that a tiny drizzle of honey gives the cup a nice, round flavor.

However, in this weather, hot is just… well, too hot!  I recommend trying this as an iced latte!  Here’s how I made it:

  • Brew a concentrated amount of Spice with Rooibos from Chai-Wallah’s.
  • After allowing it to come to a cooler temperature, I put the brewed chai in the freezer to let it get to a slushy-ice texture.
  • Add the slushy chai, a few ice cubes, and some milk to the blender, and blend until it’s well blended.

Another idea derived from this method is to make a chai granita!


Spice with Black Tea from Chai-Wallah

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Chai-Wallah

Product Description:

Fair Trade Organic Rembeng Estate Assam tea is the perfect match for our organic chai spice. A robust full-bodied CTC tea favored by chai drinkers in India for its strong malty taste even when blended and boiled with chai spice, milk and sugar.

Taster’s Review:

Well, if you read many of my reviews, you know that I love chai.  Some I like better than others – and this chai definitely falls under the “better” category.  It’s fantastic!

One challenge that chai blends face when it comes to me tasting and reviewing them is that I seldom will brew them in the “recommended” method – that is, I don’t usually simmer the spiced tea on the stovetop with milk and/or water.  I brew it like I’d brew any tea – using boiling water in a tea pot or a smart brewing system (like this one).  And I realize that this affects the outcome.  However, I don’t like to brew using the stovetop method.  It’s messy, and because of this, I’m less likely to brew chai tea as often as I do now.  Which means less chai enjoyment.

So, a chai blend needs to produce a delicious, hearty cup using my method for me to like it!  And this chai does – and how!  I’ve tasted it with and without milk added, and I must say that it is quite delicious both ways, although I prefer it latte.

The organic Assam tea base is BOLD and deliciously malty.  It has to be to be able to be detected amongst some rather robust spice.  Well, this Assam is able to hold its own with these spices, and it brings forth a very pleasing, eye-opening flavor.  This tea is full-bodied and vigorous without tasting bitter (but I wouldn’t recommend over-steeping it, I steeped for just 4 minutes in boiling water).

Not surprisingly, though, it is the spices that make this blend what it is.  It’s like a powerful wallop in the mouth!  Zesty ginger and pepper dominate, followed by a spicy cinnamon with the warmth of cardamom and cloves providing a very solid backdrop for a delicious chai experience.

This is not a chai for the meek!  It is a strong, solid chai with a lot of spice!  So, if you’re timid when it comes to spice, this may not be the chai for you.  BUT if you love chai, you probably aren’t timid!  Try this one!  It’s amazing!

Spice with Green Tea from Chai-Wallah’s

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Chai-Wallah’s

Product Description:

A blend of our organic chai spice and Fair Trade Organic Green Tea from Korakundah Estate in Nilgiri, South India . Korakundah was the first certified organic Nilgiri tea estate. Established in 1922, the garden has become one of India’s premier organic tea estates. Tigers, panthers and elephant herds are spotted regularly in the dense jungle surrounding the pristine garden. This chai is smooth and mellow unlike its Assam stablemate! The chai should not be boiled or simmered but steeped otherwise it will reduce the beneficial properties of the tea.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  This is GOOD!  The spice is strong and zesty!   The pepper and ginger are the most prominent of the spices, but, they do not overpower the balance of spicy tastes.

The green tea base is a bit lighter in flavor than you’d experience with a black tea chai, but then, that’s to be expected.  It has a fresh, lightly vegetative taste to it, and I think that the tea is nicely complimented in this blend of vibrant spices.

I have tried this chai a couple of times now.  The first time, I tasted it without milk and I liked it a lot that way.  The spices were very lively.  The second time, I decided to go latte, and it is also very good as a latte.  The spices are muted a little by the milk, but the peppery kick can still be tasted.  The green tea’s vegetative qualities are enhanced a little by the addition of milk, which I found interesting.

Both ways are tasty, but I do think I prefer it non-latte, just because more of the spices are highlighted that way.  Which ever way you choose to serve it, this is a chai I would highly recommend to those who enjoy spicy chai teas!  It’s yummy and makes me happy!  And the fact that it’s 100% Organic and Fair Trade – well that’s something to really smile about!