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indonique

Vanilla Chai from Indonique

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

To Contact Indonique, visit their Blog.

Editor’s Note: I wrote this review several months ago, and at the time of writing, I discovered that the Indonique website forwarded directly to their blog.  It would appear that Indonique no longer offers this chai.  However, I do encourage you to visit Indonique’s blog as it is a fantastic resource for information about tea, and it would appear that they do offer some teas on their blog as well.

Taster’s Review:

This evening, I decided to steep this using the “stove top” method.  That is the method of simmering the tea leaves in a milk or milk/water combination and then straining the leaves.

I don’t usually use this method, because, well, it’s messy.  I don’t like to make a mess in the kitchen.  Well, it isn’t really that I don’t like to make a mess in the kitchen, it is that I don’t like to have to clean up the mess afterward.  But, for whatever reason, I decided that I was going to make a mess (and now I have to clean it up).

Mostly, I think I wanted to compare results between having steeped this tea strong (using more leaf) in water vs. steeping it in the traditional stove top method.  (You can read my previous review of this tea that I wrote after having steeped it in water here)

And there is a difference.  The tea is much creamier when I steep it via the stove top method.  But, it isn’t THAT much better that I want to start making daily messes in the kitchen to achieve the creamier texture.

Because, really, this chai is quite delicious BOTH ways.

The black tea base used in this chai is a Nilgiri tea which provides a strong, rich tea flavor.  Nilgiri is a better base than the more-often-used Assam for a chai blend in my opinion.  Nilgiri is not as quick to become bitter like Assam.  And because the chai needs a little longer to steep to achieve the fullest flavor from the spices, this is a good thing, indeed.

The vanilla adds a luxurious flavor to this chai.  It is smooth, it is rich, it is absolutely decadent and delicious!  MUCH better than any chai latte that I’ve ever gotten from the local coffee shop.  And, because I know what’s going in to it, it is better for me too.  I can regulate the amount of honey I use (if I choose to add any at all), and I can also choose what type of milk (and therefore the amount of milk fat) that is used to brew the chai.  I don’t have that kind of control at the local coffee shop.

The spices are well-balanced, the vanilla is sweet and creamy, and the Nilgiri tea is rich and robust!  What more could you ask of a chai?  I am sad that this chai is no longer available, because it is fantastic.  But, I am so very glad that I had the opportunity to try it!

Chocolate Chai from Indonique

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Indonique

Company Description:

Our secret blend of rich Indian black tea and spices including cocoa. Chocolate Chai is sure to become your families new cold weather tradition.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the best chocolate chai teas that I’ve encountered.  Here’s the reason – I can TASTE the chocolate.  I mean… REALLY taste the chocolate.

The Nilgiri base is smooth and stays in a harmonious balance with the spices and cocoa.  I’m not tasting even a hint of bitterness, nor am I detecting any astringency to this cup.

Nilgiri is an excellent choice for chai blends because it has a deep, robust flavor but is a little less tempermental than a typical Assam might be – which can get bitter when left to brew too long.  A Nilgiri will allow the tea drinker to steep a little longer to get more flavor out of the masala spices without worry that the tea base will become bitter.

This chai gets its chocolate-y flavor from cocoa powder – which is evident when you look at the dry leaf, it looks as though it has had an ample dusting of cocoa powder.

The cinnamon is the most prominent spice in this blend, but it doesn’t present itself as a hot, spicy cinnamon.  There is a mild to warm spice note in the background, but with this tea, it’s really all about the chocolate – and in the opinion of THIS tea reviewer, that’s just the way it should be!

Honey Bush Organically Grown Tea (South Africa) from Indonique

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Indonique

Company Description:

Another caffeine free South African shrub tisane that, although completely unrelated to the Rooibos plant, is amazing similar in taste only lighter and a bit sweeter, great hot or iced.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had a cup of unflavored honeybush.  And as I sit here, sipping this, I am wondering why it has been so long?  This is delicious!

Unlike rooibos, which is also grown in South Africa, I really like the taste of unflavored honeybush.  It has a smooth taste with a slight earthy quality to it – not nearly as woody as rooibos tends to be – and a very pleasant honey-like sweetness.

It is called “honeybush” because its flower smells like honey.   And although it has that honey-like aroma and taste, it isn’t at all heavy or thick (or sticky!) like honey.  This is very light and refreshing.  And because it’s naturally caffeine free, it’s a great choice to drink any time of the day.

Another great way to enjoy unflavored honeybush is as an addition to a favorite tea.  It adds a little bit of sweetness and a little extra dimension to the flavor without adding calories.  And honeybush is loaded with antioxidants!

I prefer my unflavored honeybush to be organically grown (and yes, it does make a difference in flavor with honeybush and rooibos!) and that’s why I really like this Honey Bush from Indonique.  My kids love it too!