Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena's Gypsy Tea
Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Tea Description:

A robust and full flavored black tea accented with exotic imperial spices. The bold concentrated character of this lush black tea lends itself well to the full notes of cardamom, ginger and clove. The sweet hint of tropical coconut fragrantly fills the cup, offering an inviting taste of paradise to savor from any spot on the map. Delicious with a splash of milk. A bright and flavorful steep. Sunglasses not included.

Fair Trade Certified Indian Black Tea*, Cinnamon*, Ginger*, Cardamom Pods*, Whole Cloves*, Orange Peels*, Nutmeg*, Black Pepper*, Natural Coconut Flavor, Natural Cinnamon Flavor.
* Certified Organic

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I really have to be in the mood for a chai. Coconut Chai Tea from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea was really calling to me today. Sent to me from a friend, and I am happy for it, I am sipping a yummy chai with a nice hint at coconut, and a slight taste of vanilla. No vanilla is listed in the ingredients but I taste it nonetheless. Must be how the coconut gives the tea a light milky and nutty flavor combined with the typical spices in chai. Regardless, I am really enjoying this chai from Zhena’s.

Somehow I have managed to drink loose leaf for over a year now and had yet to have tried Zhena’s Teas. This is an excellent first introduction to this company.

I will say if you are expecting a really coconutty tea, this isn’t it. Honestly I would not mind a bit more coconut flavor myself, but I am satisfied with it being lightly flavored.

I had the first half of my cup straight, then added a little vanilla almond milk to the rest. It was excellent both ways but I think I prefer it straight which is interesting because most of my experience with chai has always been the tea mixed with milk of some kind.

I look forward to trying more of the teas offered by Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.

Peach Oolong Blend from Rishi Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Tea Description:

Iron Goddess of Mercy and a lightly oxidized, flowery oolong from Taiwan are paired with dried peaches and the fresh essence of peach. A blush of hibiscus and a hint of sweetness from natural roots lays the foundation for one of Rishi’s most enticing, indulgent and fruity flavored blends.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I have to be honest, when I saw that there was hibiscus in this blend, I was skeptical.  In my opinion, hibiscus has no place in an Oolong blend.  And even after tasting this Peach Oolong Blend from Rishi Tea – and enjoying it! – I admit that I am still keeping to that opinion.  Hibiscus should not be in an Oolong blend.

So, yeah, I am enjoying this tea.  The Oolong notes are lovely:  sweet, creamy and slightly vegetative.  The peach flavoring enhances the natural fruit notes of the Oolong and I’m really liking that.

The schizandra berries add a touch of berry tartness to the cup – not that it needs it, but it is an interesting dimension to an otherwise very peachy cup.  The hibiscus accentuates the berry notes, but it also enhances the thickness to the body of the Oolong, and this is probably my biggest complaint about the hibiscus here.  Oolong is already a thick, lush tea, it doesn’t need additions that will add to this.  It sort of “ruins” it.  Sure … it’s an enjoyable cup, but I can’t help but think that it would be SO much better without the hibiscus.

Fortunately, there isn’t a strong hibiscus-y flavor … and there is something that saves this tea for me and that’s the licorice root.  I love that hint of licorice.  It is very slight … it isn’t a strong, licorice-y taste.  It doesn’t taste sharp or snappy … it just adds a faint licorice note that keeps me sipping just to experience it.

I don’t think this is a bad tea, I just think that Rishi Tea should rethink the hibiscus addition.  It turned what could be a really good tea into something that is just average, in my opinion.

Superb Black Tea (from Rwanda) from The Excellent Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Excellent Tea Company

Tea Description:

The Excellent Tea Company’s Superb Black Tea is a pesticide-free, Fair Trade Certified,* single-estate tea bag from the Mountains of the Moon in Rwanda, East Africa, where the high altitude, clean air, and fertile volcanic soils produce exceptionally smooth and highly prized tea without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Hmm… I like this.  It’s a decent black tea, rich and malty, and I like that it’s pesticide-free and Fair Trade.

I do find myself wishing it was not a bagged tea.  Perhaps it’s just me, but, I could swear that I taste a “wet paper” kind of taste in there.  It isn’t a strong taste, and it isn’t off-putting enough so that I want to stop drinking it … but I do still wish it wasn’t there, and I wonder if it is indeed from the filter paper bag.

But despite this one misgiving about the tea, I must say that it is a tasty tea, and it is quite economical too.  The fact that it is bagged means that it’s convenient – ideal for one of those days when you don’t have time to go loose leaf (and we all have those days on occasion, don’t we?)  And even though it is a bagged tea, it’s one of the better tasting bagged teas I’ve had in a while … even with that faint “wet paper” taste that I am detecting.

Overall, this is an enjoyable tea.  I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it Superb … but, I enjoyed it.

Organic Indulgashena Garden Green Tea (FTC) from Stash Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Stash Tea

Tea Description:

Mild green tea from Sri Lanka with a sweet finish reminiscent of honeysuckle. Large tea leaves hand-rolled into long, twisted spears that infuse into a clear, light amber color. Fair Trade Certified Organic Indulgashena (alternate spelling Idulgashinna) Green Tea is grown in the Idulgashena tea garden, the first certified organic tea garden in the world. USDA and QAI certified organic.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I LOVE this tea!  LOVE IT!

When I first opened the pouch, I was greeted with an aroma that is very grassy.  The fragrance reminded me of that very first lawn cutting in spring, when the grass is tender and beginning to bear fresh, new blades after the cold of winter.  It smells like that freshly mown lawn, clean, crisp and vibrant.

So, I was astonished when I took my first sip and my first reaction was:  Pepper!  That’s what I tasted.  I tasted again to see if my taste buds were deceiving me, but, again, I tasted fresh ground black pepper.  After a couple of sips, the flavor tapered somewhat and tasted a bit more like a peppery cinnamon rather than black pepper, but there is a distinct spice tone to this tea.  It is warm and quite enjoyable.

As I continue to sip, more flavors reveal themselves to me.  It is not nearly as vegetative as the aroma of the dry leaf would suggest.  In fact, there is not a grassy tone to be tasted in this cup!  Maybe a mild vegetable taste, but not what I would call grassy.  It is sweet and has a honey-esque tone to it, tasting a bit – as the description above suggests – like honeysuckle.

After my first infusion, I noticed that the tightly spiraled leaves looked like they did when they were dry.  That is to say, they had barely unfurled.  You know what that means:  multiple infusions!  I managed three very delicious infusions from the same measurement of leaves, and I might have been able to get a fourth if I had the time to brew it.

This one gets high marks from me – I highly recommend it!