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Drink Me: Tea Runners, Black Masala from Sahpat Teas

This week I was delighted to receive my second shipment from Tea Runners (I blogged about my first shipment here.)  This month featured four wonderful selections. Today I’m reviewing the Black Masala from Sahpat Teas included in the shipment.

From the package, this is another award-winning black tea with a “spicy south Asian kick to it,” as well as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper.

I love Masala and was so excited to receive this one. When I opened the package I got the best spicy aroma and I couldn’t wait to brew it up.  This one was super smooth, with a full bodied flavor with lots of spice. I had mine with just a touch of honey, but I’m sure it would be delicious with milk as well. Usually I share my samples with my friends, but I am tempted to keep this one all to myself!

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Drink Me: Republic of Tea, Cardamom Cinnamon

When I ordered  iced teas from Republic of Tea, I also couldn’t resist adding something warm and spicy to my card: Cardamom Cinnamon.

From the website, Cardamom Cinnamon contains cinnamon, ginger, carob, cardamom, chicory, pink peppercorns, star anise, cloves and cassia oil.

I ordered the Tasters Tin which was $4.50 for 1oz, but the blend is also available for $11.50 for a 5oz tin and $31.oo for a 1lb bag.

When I opened the tin I got a spicy smell that reminded me of the holidays. Once brewed I got the cinnamon and the pepper. The tea was mostly cinnamon flavored, and I found myself missing the body of a black tea underneath. I think this one would be a great substitute for those who would prefer herbal spice teas.

Drink Me: Teavana, Mulled Pomegranate Cider

Another tea I picked up on sale in my last order from Teavana was the Mulled Pomegranate Cider. I have a feeling this was a holiday tea, but it’s still cold here in January and February, and I thought I might enjoy it.

Mulled Pomegranate Cider contains cinnamon, apple pieces, hibiscus flowers, carob bits, ginger, grapes, elderberries, pomegranate seeds, black pepper, black currants, raspberries, cardamom, cloves, red currants and blueberries.

Mulled Pomegranate Cider is available for $6.99 for 2oz and $55.89 for 1lb.

When I opened the package I got a strong berry smell with a bit of the mulling spices. When it was brewed it smelled more of hibiscus and spice.  The taste was interesting – it reminded me of mulled wine with the cinnamon and spice and the darker berry flavors.  I would drink this as more of a dessert tea, and to warm up on cold nights.

Drink Me: Teavana, Oprah Chai

Last year for my birthday I received a gift card to Teavana from a generous co-worker.  I’d been sitting on it for a while, trying to decide what to order.  A few weeks ago I got an email advertising a sale on quite a few teas so I decided to bite the bullet and order some. On the list of things I wanted to try was the world famous Oprah Chai.

Oprah Chai contains cinnamon, black tea, ginger, carob pieces, pepper, chicory root, red rooibos, cloves and cardamom.  It is available in 2oz increments for $14.98.

 

When I first opened the package I was blown away by the chicory root and all the intense aromas. While brewing however, I could smell each more distinctly.  I didn’t add honey or milk to mine, but I have to admit it was a nice strong chai with a good full spicy flavor.  I’m sometimes skeptical of products that carry celebrity names, but this was a good tea and I would definitely buy it again.

I’ve been thinking of taste testing to find the best chai, much like I did for Earl Grey a while ago. Stay tuned for that in the coming months!

 

Drink Me: Tea Emporium, Chocolate Chai

The final selection from Tea Emporium that I was tempted by was the Chocolate Chai. I misunderstood and thought this would be a tea when in fact it really is more of a spiced cocoa.

From the website this contains Valrohna cocoa, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.

It is available in 2oz increments for $7.38.

 

This wasn’t what I was expecting, but when I opened the package and smelled the mix I got cocoa and wonderful chai spices. The instructions suggest adding 1 teaspoon of the mix to 1 cup of water or milk. I used water because I was at work, but I think this would be amazing in milk.  I didn’t add sugar to this, but it wasn’t sweet – it was more of a bitter dark chocolate with rich spices. I think I’d serve it as a dessert drink – I’m planning on saving it for the fall weather and warming up a mug!

 

 

Drink Me: Republic of Tea, Downton Christmas Blend

I found myself at home unexpectedly yesterday afternoon, and what better way to enjoy an afternoon free from work than with a cup of tea? It is finally what I consider Christmas season (I don’t start until after Thanksgiving) and I have a few great holiday teas to share in the upcoming weeks.

This afternoon I decided to start with a cup of Republic of Tea‘s Downton Christmas Blend, in my very own Downton Abbey mug.

From the packaging the blend contains black tea and mulling spices, including cinnamon, cloves, licorice root and apple pieces.

It’s available in a canister of 36 tea bags for $12.00. Be sure you order soon because it’s marked as a limited edition!

 

When I first opened the package I smelled cloves and maybe a bit of orange. The orange isn’t listed in the ingredients, but I wonder if there’s a bit of peel in the mulling spices?  Once brewed I smelled the cinnamon.  This was a great black tea with the extra flavor of the mulling spices. It would be perfect for a cold night in the snow, or an afternoon spent decorating for the holidays. This one is definitely going to be a favorite – so how many tins should I stockpile?

Drink Me: Teavana, Spiced Mandarin Oolong

The final tea that I ordered from Teavana a few weeks ago was Spiced Mandarin Oolong. I have a soft spot for orange teas. One of my favorite bagged teas was Tazo’s Wild Sweet Orange before they changed the blend.

This blend contains dark Oolong tea, cinnamon, hibiscus flowers, apple bits, carob bits, ginger, orange juice bits, citrus slices, pepper, tangerine pieces, ginger slices, candied tangerine, cardamom, star anise, cardamom seeds, cloves and allspice.

It is available in a variety of sizes: 2oz for $9.98, 4oz for $19.96, 8oz for $39.92, 16oz for $79.84, 3lbs for $239.52 and 5lbs for $399.20.

When I opened the bag the first thing I smelled was orange and a collection of spices. Once brewed I got more sweet orange and hibiscus smell. The tea tasted delicious.  I got a nice sense of the orange and hibiscus, which made it sweet. But there was also the tang of the spices adding a more savory complex note. I’m not sure it’s as good as my Wild Sweet Orange, but it’s not a bad second!

Drink Me: Teavana, Pumpkin Spice Brulée

With the arrival of decorative gourd season* it is time for all things pumpkin. I was tempted last week when I saw a friend of mine gushing about Teavana‘s Pumpkin Spice Brulée and knew it was time to place an order.

Pumpkin Spice Brulée contains cinnamon, white chocolate pieces, pumpkin pieces, chocolate flakes, carob pieces, oolong tea, ginger, chicory root, pumpkin seeds, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and coconut blossom sugar.

It is available in the following sizes: 2oz for $12.98, 4oz for $25.96, 8oz for $51.95 and 16oz for $103.84, 3lb for $311.52 and 5lb for $519.20.  While I’m not springing for the largest size, I assume this is a seasonal variety so you’d best get some while you can.

When I first opened the package I could smell the chicory root and the chocolate.  As the tea was brewing more of the spiciness came through: the ginger, the nutmeg, the cloves.  I will say that the tea tasted more like spice tea to me, than pumpkin or chocolate.  It reminded me of fall days and holidays and I would definitely recommend it if you like all things seasonal.

* Link to inappropriate humor reference.

Drink Me: Upton Tea, Masala Chai

A few weeks ago, on Ravelry, I was part of an interesting discussion about Masala Chai.   This discuss was primarily about how Americans refer to chai as chai tea.  But the Hindi word for tea is chai, which makes the American version redundant.  The correct name for the spiced tea that we Americans refer to as “chai tea” is actually masala chai.

After having this discussion so recently, when I placed my order at Upton Tea, I decided to try the Masala Chai.

From the packaging, this blend contains black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and cloves. The site also suggests adding milk and honey for full flavor.

When I first opened the bag, all I could smell was cardamom and cloves. I thought it was really interesting that the ginger is thrown in looking like puffs of tumbleweed.  The smell was still spicy.  I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the taste. It was good, but it was primarily black tea and I think I wanted a bit more of a spicy bite to it. I’m definitely going to experiment with milk and honey, and maybe brewing up a bit stronger batch. I will say that the masala chai definitely puts me in a fall mood. Bring on the chill!

Drink Me: David’s Tea, Sugar and Spice

I recently placed an order with David’s Tea for some of my favorites that I had run out of and I took advantage of the sales and promotions to pick up a few new teas as well.  The first of these was Sugar and Spice.

From the packaging, Sugar and Spice is a blend of black tea with apples, cinnamon cassia, cloves, carrots, marigold petals, orange peel and vanilla.

It looks like the sale is still going – I ordered 250g for half price at $18.75.

When I first opened the bag I mostly smelled the cinnamon and cloves.  As it brewed I smelled more orange flavor.  I thought it tasted very much like holiday spices, or spice cake.  My friend Ana thought it was like a mild chai and she had hers with milk and sugar.  Either way I liked it very much and I know I’ll be drinking a lot of it in the cool fall days.