Organic Redbush Chai from Steenbergs Organic


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Steenbergs Organics

Tisane Description:

Steenbergs Organic Redbush Chai Tea combines with a delicious blend of Steenbergs organic spices with organic redbush tea to create our own wonderful organic redbush chai tea. You brew Steenbergs Organic Redbush Chai Tea in the same way as normal chai tea and can add sugar, honey or milk to taste.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I have tried a couple of different teas from Steenbergs Organic now, and I must say that I’m continually impressed with their quality products!  This Organic Redbush Chai is no exception.  This is a wonderful spiced tisane!

I know I’ve mentioned this on more than one occasion, but there is a big difference in flavor between conventionally grown rooibos and organically grown rooibos.  The organic rooibos is SO much better.  The conventionally grown rooibos tends to have a very woody taste, veering on the side of “sour wood” that is somewhat off-putting.  However, I don’t really notice the sour wood taste in the organic rooibos … yes, it still tastes “woody” but, not like sour wood.  Not an off-putting woody tone.

And in this particular blend, the difference is important because unlike some other rooibos blends where the rooibos is indistinguishable, here, the rooibos is tasted.  The natural woody and nutty flavors of the rooibos, as well as the sweetness of the rooibos, meld beautifully with the spices.

I taste the peppery notes of the ginger and the pepper accentuates the ginger nicely, offering a pleasantly warm taste without coming across as overtly spicy.  The cardamom and cloves give the cup a solid background of spice – exotic, warm and inviting.  The lemongrass perks up the cup just a little bit without being too obvious a flavor.

But what I’m liking best about this particular blend is that the cinnamon is nicely done.  It isn’t overdone – and this is so often the case with chai blends.  Here the cinnamon is sweet, yet spicy, but not overly sweet or spicy.  It doesn’t taste like cinnamon candy.  It tastes the way cinnamon should taste!

Bravo to Steenbergs Organic for yet another well-crafted chai!  Very nice, indeed.

Organic White Tea (Pai Mu Tan) from Steenbergs Organics

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Steenbergs Organics

Tea Description:

Steenbergs Organic White Tea is an Organic Pai Mu Tan – literally White Peony – is an organic white tea from the Fujian Province of China. Pai Mu Tan is sometimes spelt organic Bai Mu Dan. Organic white teas – which were the favourite tea of Emperor Hui Tsung in 1100AD – are the least processed of all organic tea drinks. The organic white tea leaves are dried on the ground or on a shelf in the sun. Then, these organic white teas are immediately dried without any rolling and packed. It’s the rolling process that would normally have started the oxidation of the organic tea leaves – for organic green teas, firing occurs soon after rolling to prevent any significant oxidation. As a result, organic white teas release the least amount of caffeine of all teas (generally 5 -10mg per cup) and have a flavour as close to the fresh leaf as you’ll get.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am so impressed with these leaves!  They look so fresh – some of the freshest white tea leaves I’ve ever seen!  They’re actually variegated shades of pale green to silver, rather than dull grey and brown the way so many other Pai Mu Tan teas that I’ve encountered appear.  The look as though they could have just been plucked!

And the quality of the leaves is evident in the flavor.  This tea is sweet and delicate in taste, with lovely notes of fresh hay and crisp, clean mountain air.  There is a very pleasant creaminess to this cup as well as hints of flower in the distance.  The creaminess, as well as the crisp, fresh flavors has a very comforting effect, making this an ideal tea to enjoy as evening approaches and you want to unwind a bit after a hectic day.

This is a really fine quality Pai Mu Tan – but then, I’ve come to expect nothing less from this company… one that a few months ago was rather unknown to me, but now, even though I’ve only tried fewer than a handful of teas from them, I’m very impressed with everything that I’ve tried.  They seem to strive to deliver nothing but the best, and it shows!

Milky Oolong from Steenbergs Organic

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Steenbergs Organic

Tea Description:

Milky Oolong loose leaf tea from Steenbergs is delicious, refreshing and quite sweet in flavour. This Oolong tea comes from China. Drink without milk.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

My first impression of this tea came with the opening of the package.  The tea looked different from other Milk Oolong teas I’ve encountered.  Usually, the leaves are all pretty uniform in size and shape, typically wound into a tight pellet.  These leaves are less uniform, with some very tiny leaves, some pellets, and some leaves that appear to be in a twisted shape rather than a pellet shape.  But the leaves are a pleasing, dark forest green color and possess a lovely fragrance that is floral and sweet, so I decided they definitely deserved to be tasted.

The flavor is delightful.  It has a sweet, creamy flavor – quite what I’d expect from a Milk Oolong – but there’s more to it.  It isn’t quite as creamy as some Milk Oolong teas I’ve come across.  Whether this means that the leaves get their “Milky” status naturally or if they’ve been flavor enhanced, I don’t know, but, I believe it means that these is a naturally derived “Milky.”

It has a very pleasant floral note to the flavor, a little sharp and agreeably sweet.  I like that while it is a sweet Oolong (I can’t recall ever tasting a Milk Oolong that wasn’t sweet), it isn’t overly so, and it isn’t saturating my palate with a creamy sweet taste.  The flavor overall is quite light and smooth.

The earlier infusions tended to be creamier than the later infusions, and with each subsequent infusion, I notice a slight fruit note that begins to emerge.  It’s a sour fruit – which seems to immediately evoke thoughts of sour apple.  However, I don’t know that I would actually describe the note as a sour apple note.  Whenever I think “sour fruit,” sour apple is what usually pops into my head.  This is more of a juicy, stone fruit but with sour overtones.  It is more like a sour mango to me.

The vegetal notes begin quite softly as well, with mere hints of vegetation appearing in the taste in the first couple of infusions, and more of a grassy/vegetal note presenting itself in the later infusions.  It never really becomes overwhelmingly vegetative, and it mingles quite nicely with the other flavors of this cup.

This is quite a pleasant Oolong overall, one that is deliciously complex and refreshingly light.  It is one that kind of “grows” on me, and I find that the more that I sip on it, the more I like it.

Black Chai Spiced Tea from Steenbergs Organic

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Steenbergs Organic

Product Description:

Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade Black Chai Tea is our simplified version of the Indian spicy, chai teas and is based on the quick & easy recipe we love to make for ourselves on a cold, blustery day, especially if we’ve got soaked on a walk.  Steenbergs Organic Black Chai Tea is so warming and the organic spices seem to lift the strong organic black tea that we use as a base.

Read more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Well, it’s cold and wet outside, but inside it’s nice and cozy, and this chai makes it even cozier!

When I make chai, I usually use a little extra leaf than I would for other black tea blends because I think that chai should be brewed a little stronger (especially if you’re going to make it latte!)  But because this chai is so finely chopped, I don’t recommend using extra leaf with this chai.  Instead, use the same amount you would normally for black tea:  if you use 1 tsp. of loose leaf per cup for black tea, use 1 tsp. per cup of this chai.

The result is a wonderfully rich, warm cup of chai.  It is strong enough to add a little milk to it if you want a chai latte, but it is also quite good without the milk. I do recommend a little sweetener (just a little drizzle of honey will do!) because it really helps the spices come alive!  With the addition of milk, it becomes very creamy and smooth, and while some of the spices are slightly muted, it is still quite yummy.

The black tea is bold and delicious.  It has a fair amount of astringency that is slightly drying to the palate.  I am noticing some malty tones to the tea, perhaps an Assam base?  It has that sort of “baked bread” quality to it.  It has a very hearty flavor and texture to it, and makes a perfect base for these spices.

The spices here are vibrant and warm without being overwhelmingly spicy.  It is a very nicely balanced blend of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.  This short list of ingredients doesn’t include ginger, and even though I love ginger, I’m not finding that I miss it in this chai.  The spices are so well-balanced that they become very seamless and create a warm spiced flavor without being SPICY.

A very enjoyable chai, and I like that it is organic and fairtrade!  This is a chai that you could serve to everyone during the holidays and not worry that you’re serving something too spicy to that relative with the sensitive palate.  It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!