Lemongrass & Pandan Tisane from Chiang Rai Tea House

Lemongrass+Pandan1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:   Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

An exquisite, balanced blend of two fragrant herbs typical of South East Asia. The lemony flavor and aroma of lemongrass is a great match to the sweet, vanilla-like taste of pandan. If you haven’t tried pandan yet, this infusion is not to be missed. The lemongrass-pandan combination is known to relieve stress, ease constipation. detoxify the blood and, being caffeine-free, it’s also the perfect after-dinner beverage. As for all our teas and herbs, these two are also organic.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t recall ever having tried Pandan before, so this moment with Lemongrass & Pandan Tisane from Chiang Rai Tea House represents a new experience for me.

Pandan is interesting!  It has a sweet flavor that is reminiscent of rice.  The description above suggests a vanilla-like taste and I get that too, but I think I taste more of a rice-like flavor than a vanilla one.  I’m quite enjoying it!

Lemongrass+PandanI have tried a lot of lemongrass in the past, but I must say that the lemongrass that I’ve sampled from Chiang Rai Tea House is truly exceptional.  I realize that there are people out there that might thing that ‘lemongrass is lemongrass’ but for those people, I’d recommend trying one of Chiang Rai Tea House’s lemongrass offerings and that might change your mind.  If nothing else, you might find the curly shavings of the lemongrass more interesting and enchanting than the typical blades of lemongrass that you might be used to.

The combination of the sweet, citrus notes of the lemongrass with its subtle hints of butter complement the pandan in a very pleasant way.  This is a really nice caffeine free drink – one I wouldn’t mind drinking on a regular basis!

Overall, I’m really happy that I had this opportunity to try this Lemongrass & Pandan Tisane – Pandan is delightful and so is the lemongrass!  A really nice tisane.

Black Tea & Lemongrass from Chiang Rai Tea House

Black+tea+lemongrassTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:   Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

Enjoy your black tea with lemongrass, another great ally of your body with a lemony flavor that soothes and tastes delicious! Sip it hot after a meal for an easy digestion, or pour it over ice cubes for a refreshing summer treat.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Another interesting tea from Chiang Rai Tea House!  This time, it’s a combination of black tea leaves from Thailand and the curly pieces of Lemongrass that I enjoyed so much in their Lemongrass & Ginger blend.  I don’t know if the cutting process that produces the curls in the lemongrass makes a difference in the flavor or if it’s because this is lemongrass from Thailand – but the lemongrass that I’ve tasted in both these blends has been a substantial lemon-y flavor – much more so than I’ve experienced from the typical chopped pieces of lemongrass.

The lemon-y notes are sweet and tart, but not pucker-y tart.  Just tart enough to make this taste like lemon has been added to the tea rather than a sweeter lemon curd type flavor.  Just tart enough to perk up the taste buds and really brighten the cup!

The black tea base is a very mellow tasting black tea.  It’s not particularly robust, so I’m happy to have the sunny flavor of lemon in this tea.  It’s invigorating from the refreshing lemon notes with a background of smooth, sweet black tea.

A really nice blend – not quite as strong as I’d want from a breakfast tea, but this would make a wonderfully refreshing iced tea or a great afternoon tea.

Lemongrass & Ginger from Chiang Rai Tea House

Lemongrass+GingerTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

Two excellent herbs, not only for their health benefits, but for their intense flavor and aroma, come together as the ideal hot beverage for when you feel under the weather. The spiciness of ginger, combined with the lemony taste of lemongrass, makes this a zesty combination that is guaranteed to make you feel good almost immediately! And, of course, both are organically grown.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not generally excited when it comes to trying a tisane.  Oh, I like most tisanes alright but if given a choice between a tisane or something with Camellia Sinensis in it, I’m going to choose the tea every time.

But there are times when I reach for a tisane, particularly later in the day/evening when I want to reduce the amount of caffeine I’m consuming.  And since it is evening now, I started sorting through my stash of teas and tisanes until I came across this Lemongrass & Ginger from Chiang Rai Tea House.  I decided that this would be my caffeine free choice for this evening.

The aroma wafting from my teacup right now is intriguing.  I smell very faint notes of citrus and notes of ginger, but I also smell a distinct note of pepper.  Black pepper, to be precise.  It smells as though someone had freshly ground some pepper in my teacup.  Not a fragrance I expected from this tisane!

Lemongrass+Ginger1I don’t actually taste black pepper, but I definitely smell it.  I smell it so distinctly that it gave me cause to check the ingredients:

Ingredients:  100% Organic Lemongrass and Organic Ginger.

No pepper.  Now, granted, ginger does have a peppery note to it, but I usually taste more of a peppery note than smell it.

But as I said, I’m not tasting a strong peppery taste.  What I taste is what the label promises:  I taste lemongrass and I taste ginger.  I like the way these two ingredients are balanced.

The ginger is warm and zesty.  The ginger has not been overdone here – I don’t feel too much heat on my palate or in my throat as I drink it.  It’s gently warming, but not hot or spicy.

The lemongrass is soft, sweet and delicately citrus-y.  Not tart but there is a hint of tangy to this.  It reminds me a bit of the lemon-lime taste you might experience if you were to be drinking a lemon-lime soda – but without the sugary sweetness.  There is a smooth, lightly buttery/creamy flavor to it and I really enjoy how the lightly sweet, creamy citrus notes meld with the lively ginger notes.

The combination is a simple one:  ginger and lemongrass.  But it’s really tasty!

Matcha from Chiang Rai Tea House

ChiangMatcha1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green (Matcha)

Where to Buy:  Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

Matcha -green tea powder- is an antioxidant powerhouse (ORAC rating of 1,300 units/gram compared to 105 units/gram for pomegranates) and its list of health benefits goes on and on -fights viruses and bacteria, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, L-Theanine relaxes and supports concentration, boosts metabolism and burns calories, contains the unique and powerful antioxidant catechin EGCg.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Matcha.  And even though it’s been a little while since I’ve written about Matcha, that doesn’t mean that it’s been a while since I’ve consumed it.  I try to drink a bowl of Matcha (or do a cold-water shake-up of Matcha in my water bottle) at least every other day.  Occasionally, I might skip a day or two, but, I do try to drink it regularly – the stuff is magical!  It’s not only tasty but it also makes me feel so good after I’ve had it.  It’s one of the most revitalizing, energizing and spiritually uplifting teas I know of.

So, I was really intrigued when Chiang Rai Tea House sent me some of their Matcha to try.  Traditionally, Matcha is a Japanese tea, but the tea that was ground into this powdered green tea is from Thailand.  So, I was interested to find out if it would be different from the traditional Matcha.

The color in this photo is brighter than the color of the tea in the package I received.

The dry powder is not the vivid Apple Green that you’d find with most top quality Matcha teas from Japan.  This tea was more like an Army Green color.  Kind of drab and dull.  This worried me because it’s been my experience that when it comes to Matcha, the color is very telling of what I’ll be tasting.

But, I’m going to try it and see how it goes.  I measured out some of the Matcha into my sifter and sifted into my Chawan and added hot water (160°F) and whisked the Matcha with my Chasen.  The Matcha incorporated quickly.  There was some froth to the prepared Matcha but it disappeared as quickly as it formed.

On their webpage, Chiang Rai Tea House says this about their Matcha:

We are particularly proud of our matcha, which we honestly believe can rival any Japanese matcha. This is a high-grade, 100% pure green tea powder made following strict guidelines. It has a smooth texture, a sweet aftertaste and an intense flavor, without the bitterness characteristic of lesser matchas.

I don’t know if this can rival any Japanese Matcha, but I will say that it’s better than some of the lower quality Japanese Matcha that I’ve tried.  It is smooth and sweet.  I’m not getting any of the bitterness or even the bitter-sweet notes that I’d taste from a lesser quality Matcha from Japan.  I’m actually quite surprised by that – because I expected this to taste a lot like that!  I expected this to taste like some of those average or even less-than-average Matcha teas that I’ve tried over the years.

This has a strong flavor that is a lightly buttery and there are pleasant notes of cacao.  It’s smooth and even though there were a couple of chalky moments, overall, I find this to be a very tasty Matcha.  The powder remained suspended in the liquid and didn’t settle to the bottom which was a big bonus as far as I’m concerned.  I liked that the consistency of the tea remained the same from the first sip to the last.

Overall, this was a pleasant Matcha experience.  This isn’t the best Matcha that I’ve ever tried, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.  If you’re someone who drinks Matcha daily and is looking for a good alternative to the average Matcha, try this.  This has a very pleasant flavor that I don’t always find in the average Matcha.

Black Tea & Ginger Blend from Chiang Rai Tea House

BlackTeawithGinger1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

If you need an extra boost, try some black tea with ginger, an energizing root that helps fight just about any infection. A perfect hot drink for those cold winters days or when you need a lil’ pick me up!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

In the early days of spring, I find that my allergies are on overdrive.  I have issues with my allergies year round (believe it or not!  Hey, I live in the Pacific Northwest!) but in the spring, even my every day allergy medication doesn’t do enough to power away the allergy symptoms all the time.

So I find teas like this Black Tea & Ginger Blend from Chiang Rai Tea House to be particularly comforting when I get to feeling kind of blah from my allergies.  The warmth of the ginger help soothe the swollen throat and the peppery spice of the ginger enliven the taste buds.  It’s a tea that I find both soothing and invigorating!

BlackTeawithGingerI could smell the ginger immediately upon opening the pouch.  The ingredient list shows that this is 60% tea and 40% ginger – which is quite a bit of ginger!  And it’s evident in the flavor – there’s a powerful kick to this!

The black tea base is a Thai black tea and it’s a smooth tasting tea.  It’s not bitter or astringent.  It’s nicely round with a pleasant flavor.  I’d categorize it as a medium-bodied tea and it has a pleasantly soft, thick texture.  I taste notes of molasses and leather.

There is a lot of ginger to this and it adds a spicy kick to the cup.  But I still can taste the black tea.  The ginger isn’t overpowering the black tea, although the amount of ginger-y flavor does hinder my ability to talk much about what I’m tasting with the black tea.  I taste black tea and I taste ginger.  I don’t taste a lot of specific black tea notes other than an undertone of molasses and a hint of leather here and there.

In most cases, I would find that disturbing but I rather like the ginger taste.  I like the way the flavors are presenting themselves.  It’s warm, comforting and soothing.  I like that I taste a lot of ginger but I can still taste the black tea.

A nice first experience with this new-to-me tea company!