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chai loose leaf tea

52Teas Sipdown -cuppageek

PhotoCredit: 52Teas

As some of you may know, I’ve taken a step back from my tea shop to get myself back on track health wise.  What some of you might not know- I literally stopped drinking tea all together.  I think between being such a huge tea fan and blending my own blends- my taste buds just weren’t feeling tea anymore.  So I sadly packed up what tea I had (which was a lot), knowing that one day I would be back at it. . . and I’m happy to say after taking a couple months off- my taste buds are back where they should be.

I wanted to greet my tastebuds with something amazing right from the start and knowing that I had a lot of 52Teas in my stash, I  knew Anne’s blends would be exactly where I needed to start my journey back into tea with.

If you aren’t familiar with Anne/52Teas, I implore to check her site out.  She literally makes some of the most amazing blends that I’ve ever had and beyond that, she is just an amazing person.  I’m quite honored to call her a personal friend as well, tho I never let that cloud my reviews of her blends and she knows that as well :).

Anyway, back to the tea goodness. . .

So over the last few days, I have enjoyed a TON of 52 Teas blends and was able to sipdown a few. Below are my thoughts on these blends that are sipdowns. . .

Blood Orange Butterscotch Black Tea– A blend with Black Tea, Blood Oranges, Calendula Petals & Natural Flavors- This blend, I have to say, was amazing however, I didn’t really pick up on the blood orange or the butterscotch.  What I loved was the black tea that Anne used in this blend. The flavor was rich and smooth and even tho I didn’t really pick up any of the flavors, the black tea notes were more than enough for me to call this blend a winner.

Boy! Oh! Boy! Black Tea– A blend with Black Teas, Watermelon and Natural Flavors- To me, watermelon is a flavor best enjoyed cold so I cold brewed this one.  That may have been a mistake. I didn’t love the blend and now I’m wondering if I would have enjoyed this one hot- would some of the flavors popped a bit more. . All I really could pick up was watermelon and being not one of my favorite flavors. . this one wasn’t my favorite. Still good.

Michola Chai Black Tea w/Honeybush– I would list the ingredients for this one but there is a laundry list of delights used to make this blend so I will some this one up with saying the normal chai ingredients with marshmallow root, vanilla bean, and honeybush.  Let’s just start this note by saying sorry, not sorry.  I literally gobbled up all the remaining inventory for this blend earlier this week (I believe and if there is more- I call dibs).  This blend is one if not the BEST chai blend I have ever had, and I am not a fan of chais.  Brewed up with hot- this blend had notes of chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg. . but want I literally searched for in each and every sip was the awesome ginger notes that stole the show.  Not being a huge ginger fan- the amount of love I have for this blend is really interesting. So many flavors that normally I am not all about.   I greedily drank/gulped this tea down in no time flat and have to say it is simply amazing.  All the ingredients mingle so well.  If you have this one in your stash, check it out.  You won’t be sorry.

Gooey Butter Cake Black Tea– Black teas, lemon myrtle, calendula petals & natural flavors- Brewed up hot, this tea is literally like sipping on a cake.  The cake notes are perfect in the spotlight with the tail end of the sip reminding you this is a black tea.  Really delightful and one that I was happy to enjoy.  Where I went wrong with this blend was brewing this one cold.  Sadly the lemon myrtle took over and I didn’t enjoy the cold brew as much as the hot.  Was still good, just not as good as the hot brew.

Walking on Sunshine White Tea– White Tea, lemons, marshmallow root & natural flavor- This white tea blend calls my name over and over.  Marshmallow Root, white tea, and lemon are one of my favorite combinations and this tea was no exception.  I truly enjoyed this blend hot as well as cold.  This blend is currently available on the site and if I was enjoying white teas more, I would have gobbled up all of this blend too.

Ginger Lime Butterfly Tea– Butterfly Pea Flower, Lemongrass, ginger root, limes & natural flavors- Oh this blend.  I truly truly love this blend.  This blend has been my companion for a while since I cold brewed this delight and just keep adding water.  The blend reminds me of a slightly floral, slightly spiced, limeade with chunks of lemon.  I don’t really know how else to describe this one.  I still have to hot brew the remaining bit I have left over, but cold brewed, this one is a winner.

Grapefruit Creme Brulee Green Tea– Green tea grapefruit, calendula petals, vanilla bean & natural flavors- This one is another sorry not sorry.  I also nabbed the remaining inventory of this blend earlier this week because this is the blend that truly sang my name and prompted me to even buy a new tea kettle.  This blend has it all- the lovely sweet notes of the vanilla bean, the semi tartness of the grapefruit with the vegetal background of the green tea.  I can’t express how much I love this one and I have a feeling this one might be one I beg Anne to reblend for me as a custom order.  It truly is that good.

Sipdowns are amazing but can also be sad.  It is always nice to make room for new blends but sometimes it is sad to say goodbye. . .especially to blends from 52Teas because once some of these teas are gone. . .they are gone for good. Lucky for me, I have myself a pretty good sized 52Teas order on its way to me.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Herbal/Chai/Black/Green

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Masala Chai Organic Black Tea/Rishi -TeaEqualsBliss

I’m doing my own personal sipdown during COVID that’s for sure! I’m flying thru a lot of the teas I have had on hand for a good-long-while including Masala Chai Organic Black Tea from Rishi Tea.

To be honest, I thought I already reviewed this one, but apparently I did NOT.

I drink chai like I drink tea…plain…straight-up…with nothing else in them. The spices are BOLD in this chai. The ingredients consist of Organic Black Tea, Organic Cardamom, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger Root, Organic Black Pepper, and Organic Cloves. I almost typed GLOVES. Now…THAT would have been a tea I have never tried – hahaha!

As you can see – the ORGANIC theme runs thru this offering. It is certified USDA Organic and also Certified Kosher and both labels are clearly shown.

This is a bold chai and it reaches high standards. It’s a GOODIE!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Description

Tasting Notes
A robust, full-bodied black tea blended with aromatic traditional Indian masala spices
organic black tea, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, organic ginger root, organic black pepper, organic clove

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Masala Chai / Shafa Blends

Shafa blends is a quaint little store located in an unassuming business strip mall.

We were in Baltimore for my Grandma’s funeral. Going right before her funeral may seem like it was a weird idea and ok it really probably was but who really is in a good state of mind before a funeral?

I wanted to give you this back story because it ties in with the rest. We walked into the store and we were greeted by the nicest lady. Throughout the course of our few minutes there she was incredibly kind, even without knowing our circumstances. When asking what I was in for today I said for their spicy chai.

She wanted to be sure I was ready for the spice level, I assured her I was. Now as I sit here drinking two cups of it, one with milk and one without, I can’t help but think of my grandma who was somewhat of a spicy lady. One of my favorite stories from her is when her family, 11 in all not sure of how many were there then, were all seated around the table and there was an argument.

My grandma lost the fork she had been waving around and it ended up piercing the ear of one of my aunts. Sounds kinda terrifying writing it but everyone laughs with tears rolling down there faces whenever it is told.

My apologies for digressing from the main topic but I thought I would deviate a little from my usual writing. For those who are curious this truly is a perfect spicy chai. Great with milk or on its own. When on its own it elicits an even spicer tone but the first touch on the palette is clear and silky. Don’t be fooled though as this quickly turns around and punches you in the throat. The after taste is spicy. A minute late after finishing and I still have a spicy sensation.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Shafa Blends

Description:

Our signature Masala Chai tea has an incredibly aromatic South Indian blend of spices with black tea, impeccable cardamom notes, spicy kick from ginger and black pepper. When you steep this blend in milk, the flavors blend in beautifully, and the addition of a little honey takes the flavors to another level. The longer you steep the tea blend in hot milk or water, the spicier the brew will become (a heat-lovers’ delight).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas

White teas have not always been my favorite kind of tea, but they have grown on me with every new flavor I try.  Since I already like chai teas, I was predisposed to enjoy White Cap Chai from Beach House teas.

This is a wonderful take on the lighter side of chai.  The white tea is earthy and smooth, and gently floral. It makes for a vegetal chai without being grassy like green tea.  I was thrilled to find a new low caffeine option for chai that isn’t based in rooibos teas.

I adore the mix of spices in this tea, especially the addition of fennel.  Fennel occupies that space between sweet spice and savory herb, and brings a new layer to the expected spices like cinnamon or ginger.  Added peppercorns also play into the more savory earthiness of the flavors.

Despite some big chai spice players like cloves, anise, and cardamom, the spices themselves are gentle enough to still allow you to taste the white tea and more understated peony flavors.  This kind of balance with a spicy tea really shows that the blenders at Beach House Teas know their stuff.

I will have to stock up on White Cap Chai to help balance out all the other black tea or rooibos chais I’ve got in my cupboard.  White Cap Chai is versatile and unexpected, perfect for the changing of seasons or for my ever-changing palette for tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Beach House Tea Co.
Description:

White Cap Chai is a lighter version of the traditional chai making it delicate and unique. This beautiful chai is made with 100% organic white peony tea leaves and organic spices. It’s a modern twist on a sweet and spicy classic. The chai gives you a smooth, mellow taste with subtle layers of flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Full Moon Chai from Plum Dexlue. . . .

I often find chai a little bit too aggressive. It’s SO. MANY. SPICES. It’s sometimes bitter, or overbearing with the cinnamon. Many people seem to agree, since mixing milk into chai is the typical approach.

Plum Deluxe wondered: What if chai were combined with… cream? Naturally? Without you having to add sugar or milk in yourself?

As a dessert tea aficionado and someone who travels around a bit, let me tell you, I am ALWAYS on board with such a notion. I don’t always just HAVE milk on me. Sometimes I want to throw some loose leaf in a travel container and GO. I want that sweetness, but not that effort.

This is a good solution to a problem you may have not considered. I’m really happy that this happened. Give it a whirl!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Full Moon Chai was one of our original blends, now back with even more creative energy.  We’ve taken our classic, signature masala chai and added a splash of vanilla butternut extract. This simple twist adds a depth, warmth, and vibrancy to your traditional chai, and also gives the flavor a hint of sweetness and creaminess without having to add lots of sugar or milk (though we do like this blend prepared as a traditional masala chai or chai latte).

It makes a great pairing for those indoor days where you need something warm and comforting.  It’s also a lovely companion for those moments when you need a high-caffeine blend to give you focus and momentum, and it’s even good for a delicious chai cocktail or three!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!