Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tea Review Tuesday - Chai Green Tea, a Night and Day Comparison

This week, I decided to present you with two reviews for Tea Review Tuesday. The reason for two reviews in one post is due to wanting to share how extremely different my experience was with two different chai green teas that I tried. These reviews were not written at the same time.  

First was a brief story of excitement and disappointment...

A Review of Shepherd's Tea's Chai Green Tea
Chai green tea sounded very intriguing when I first heard of it. It is definitely not something that is very common, at least in my area. I like chai pretty well, so I figured this was worth a shot. The box says to steep one teabag in nearly-boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Hmm, that does not sound like normal green tea to me. This is exciting! I love that the side of the box gives all sorts of suggestions for how to add zest to this tea: agave, other sweeteners, pumpkin pie spice, using half water and half milk, etc. I choose to go with just water to begin, and I steep the single teabag for four minutes in eight ounces of water that might not have been "nearly boiling," but was definitely of the right temperature for green tea.

So much spicy aroma wafts up from the cup. It smells delicious, almost reminding me more of a traditional American Thanksgiving (happy belated Thanksgiving to my readers in the United States!) more than another chai. The scent is definitely less heavy than a chai with black tea. The first sip reminds me of pumpkin pie...and not much else. I get a lot of spicy flavors, which are delectable...but no tea. It is a decent drink, but it seems to be lacking some major components in the taste department. I think I will try steeping it longer and adding some sugar.

The second time, I steeped the tea a few minutes longer and then added in a bit of honey before quaffing the cup. The addition of honey just stacked the mild flavor of honey on top of the blandness. This was really disappointing. I might continue to use this tea as a mixer with other green tea, just to add in some spiciness, but it is hardly worth drinking on its own. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give this tea a 47/100.

Second was a tea that shone bright as day, compared the last...

A Review of Rishi Tea's Green Tea Chai
A green tea chai! I have only ever tried one or two of these in the past, so this should be a novel experience. To begin, I was surprised at the directions. It said to boil together milk and water. While I have certainly made chai this way in the past, it has been a while, so this was pretty unique. After boiling the milk and water, I added the tea, turned down the burner on the stove, and let it simmer for four minutes. Pouring this whole mixture of leaf and herbs and liquid from a saucepan into a teapot (for holding) was an interesting endeavor. My tea now safely in a teapot, I poured myself a cup (straining out the leaves) and added a single sugar cube. 

The packaging for the tea had instructed to sweeten as desired, and one sugar cube was enough (for me, at least) to sweeten the individual cup of chai. 

This chai smells spicy! According to the packaging, there are a lot of spices in it, but the flavor still shocked me a bit. The second shock was the lemon aftertaste. This was not at all unpleasant, merely just different. I think that one description I read of this tea stated that the lemongrass in it was “zesty.” I wholeheartedly agree with this choice of words. If this tea is not enough to open your eyes wide, then there is a good chance that your taste buds are broken. 

If you like chai, then you need to try this tea. The green tea gives it an amazingly smooth flavor, and the herbal additions combine to create a unique and “zesty” drink. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea a 93/100

So folks, there you have it - night and day experiences with green tea chai. Based on what I tried, I would love to try more of this style of tea. Do you have any recommendations?

My apologies for the lack of photos this week.
Rishi Tea's Green Tea Chai is available from their website, here.
This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.

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