Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Steenbergs Organic
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.
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!
Organic Ginger Green Tea from Hampstead Tea
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Hampstead Tea
Ginger’s ability to improve the immune system and circulation combines with the antioxidant qualities of green tea producing a potent, fresh brew to be enjoyed any time of the day.
Ingredients: Fairtrade green tea, Fairtrade root ginger
I really enjoy the flavor of ginger teas, but sometimes, the ginger is just too strong, and others, the ginger is too light. With this blend from Hampstead Tea, I’m finding the amount of ginger to be just right. Not too peppery, but just enough kick to make for a vibrant, lively cuppa.
The green tea base tastes fresh. It has a moderate astringency and a crisp, light grassy taste. The ginger starts out mild, but develops as I continue to sip. By mid-cup, the flavor of the ginger has developed a pleasing, gentle warmth without being too spicy.
It is not only tasty, but it is also soothing. A nice cuppa to enjoy after a meal, or any time of day when you want something light and rejuvenating!
Organic Darjeeling from Hampstead Tea
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Hampstead Tea
Our signature, award-winning black tea from the Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling, India. A light, afternoon tea with muscatel and fruit tones.
Ingredients: Fairtrade black tea
This is a really flavorful Darjeeling – and it’s a bagged tea!
Yes, I prefer loose leaf. But I have learned that not all bagged teas are inferior. This Darjeeling is a perfect example. Hampstead Tea is dedicated to providing only the finest quality teas, and they choose to package their teas with the same care that they use when selecting their organic, fair trade teas.
This Darjeeling offers a light, crisp muscatel flavor that seems to sparkle on the palate. It tastes of fruit and finishes dry and astringent, like a fine wine. The aftertaste is sweet and tastes like a sweet-tart currant.
The lightness of this tea makes it an ideal afternoon tea. I prefer it straight with no additions, but a little honey or agave nectar might be alright. Just don’t overdo it, or you might ruin the gentle sweetness that this tea already possesses. I wouldn’t recommend adding milk, I think it would overwhelm the delicious complexity of this tea.
It is easy to see why this Makaibari Estate Darjeeling is an award winner. It is an absolutely delightful Darjeeling.