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

Spicy Chocolate Chai/Fraser Tea

This tea was totally not what I expected – and I couldn’t be happier!

I have had a number of spicy teas, as in jalapeno spicy, and I have never been a fan of that kind of spice. Odd how it works out, because three of my children love spicy food, the hotter the better, but I have never been able to handle it.

I don’t drink much real chai spice tea, because I am not crazy about black peppercorns in tea, though I know it is good for you and many people love it. This has pink peppercorns, which I prefer. Also, I love cardamom in tea. And cocao nibs!

What I got with this tea was a silky smooth cup that reminded me of Mexican hot chocolate, only better. Did I say silky and smooth? Because that is my strongest impression from this tea. The spices are just so spot on. This is comfort food in a cup. The ginger is well behaved and doesn’t bite. AND IT IS ORGANIC!

Instead of Spicy Chocolate Chai, my pet name for this tea might be something like “Chocolate Cinnamon Daydream.” Or how about “Tea for Reading on a Rainy Day.” If you are afraid of the words “spicy” or “chai”, don’t be afraid of this blend.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

Description

Spicy Chocolate Chai Organic Pu-erh Tea is a fusion of cocoa nibs, spicy chili peppers, and delicate, sweet oranges combined to craft a flavor sensation with maximum health benefits. Striking a delicate balance between heat and sweetness, spicy chocolate chai is a smooth and flavorful tea that supports weight management and wellness.  Enjoy any time.  Try it as-is or add milk and sugar.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Chai/Laughing Tree Tea

As a tea addict I am constantly on the hunt for tea. I mean literally every store, event or venue I go to I check to see if tea is present anywhere. I suppose some folks shop for clothes, others for gadgets and gizmos but I shop for tea. So when I was at the Freight House Farmer’s Market in Davenport I of course went in search for tea. I was surprised that there were several stands selling everything from kombucha to matcha to loose leaf. Tea was well represented here!

After walking around a bit I stumbled upon Laughing Tree Tea’s vendor stand. I must admit the free sample of peach green tea got me. I am a sucker for samples. But the sample was very nice so I decided to scope out the offerings. There were a lot of teas to smell and different sizes of tea to purchase. I do appreciate when companies offer sample packs of tea because honestly I am drowning in tea reserves. I often times want to sample a tea but don’t want to commit to a whole 2 ounces. Plus my husband tells me I might have to rent a storage pod if I continue to add to my collection. At any rate i purchased 4 samples to try.

Like a kid in a candy store I ripped open the first sample as soon as I got home! The first one I have tried and am reviewing today is Pumpkin Chai.

Laughing Tree Tea (try saying that 3 times fast) is a hand blended and locally sourced company that sells their tea in their cafe in Waterloo, IA but also at various farmer’s markets in the area. I smelled the sample of Pumpkin Chai in the vendor stall and immediately loved it! The scent is spicy, sweet and a bit nutty. I steeped my sample up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes. I felt that the tea could actually benefit for a slightly longer steep time so I let it steep an additional 2 minutes after my first sip. The base of this tea is black tea with rooibos. I enjoyed the mix of teas as the rooibos lends a nutty and sweet dimension to the blend. The traditional chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper are present as is coriander. I absolutely love coriander, it gives such a warm distinct flavor to blends. Also, almond, orange, flower petals and nut oil are added.

I really loved this tea. The spices blend so well together without being too spicy. There is a slight hint of pumpkin so I am suspecting that is contained in the natural flavors that are added. I loved this tea on its own but did find that adding a bit of soy milk enhanced the flavor. I suspect this will make an amazing latte.

This is an excellent blend and I have high hopes for the other 3 tea samples that I picked up. It seems that so often we hear about the large tea companies out there but the smaller companies like Laughing Tree Tea are doing some amazing things with tea that deserve to get noticed!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Laughing Tree Tea

Description

Warm up with this with this pumpkin flavored chai. If you like pumpkin this is your chai. Offered seasonally be sure to pick up your brew. Chai is traditionally served sweetened and this fun tea is pre-sweetened with ghost and pumpkin candies.
Ingredients: Tea, Cinnamon, Apple & Rosehip pieces, Ginger, Cardamom, Black & White pepper, Candy, Hibiscus & Calendula & Sunflower petals, Clove, Nutmeg, and Natural flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Traditional Masala Chai/Blue Lotus Chai

Let me tell you how you can have an amazing pick up for your day.

(1)  Pick yourself up a tin of Traditional Masala Chai from Blue Lotus Chai.

(2) Once the tin arrives, instantly get the following:  water, pot, milk and a timer.

(3) Open the tin and enjoy the aromas of the chai mix.

(4) Boil 4 oz fresh water.

(5) Add one rounded scoop of the powdered chai.

(6) Stir. . . .add in milk or creamer and continue to heat the mixture

(7) Once the brew is the desired temp, I highly recommended adding on a dollop of froth milk/cream to throw this experience over the top.

(8) Enjoy. . .and let all of the cares of the day wash away

I will admit, I am not a chai fan but this chai mix has changed my mind completely.  After following the above steps, you are left with this delicious chai mix that really makes you sit back and take a moment for yourself.  All of those beautiful spices mingle so well together and if you use milk like I did, that added creamy note really makes the brew even more enjoyable.

I will say that you definitely want to drink this tea right after you prepare the brew.  I accidentally let the tea sit for a few minutes and it seemed like there was a bit of grit from the powder staring to accumulate at the bottom of the cup.

What is brilliant about this chai is there isn’t a teapot that you need to clean out, there is no tea leaves you need to fuss with, just a pot, some water, and the chai mix itself.  Now saying that, I do still love my loose leaf tea and would never part with having it, but this chai mix from Blue Lotus Chai is definitely a great tea to have on hand for those mornings or afternoons when you need a little pick me up and may not have all of the needed tea ware to brew up a proper cuppa or just need a cuppa asap.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Blue Lotus Chai

Description

With its deep and truly authentic flavor and amazing ease of preparation, our flagship product has become part of the daily rhythm of many homes. Tasting is believing!

Ingredients: Naturally brewed and flash-dried black tea powder; 100% Certified Organic powdered spices: ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!