Paper Tea Bag

Chai Tea Review: Stash Holiday Chai

Stash Holiday Chai

Company/Brand Name: Stash

Name: Holiday Chai

Category: Black Tea Blend (Seasonal)

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger Root, Allspice, Clove, Gingerbread, Rum, Nutmeg Flavors

Flavor: A spiced black tea, where the nutmeg flavor seems to play the leading role

Overall: A mixture of spices that seem to hide the flavor of the black tea, rather than compliment it.

Tea Review:

I admit, I’m not a big fan of Chai flavored tea and therefore have not made many attempts to drink it. In all, I have only drunk two types of Chai tea, other than this one, all of the bagged variety.

I guess I should explain why I don’t like Chai tea just to set the stage here: It’s too spicy.

Of course, that is the point of Chai and why I presume that so many people select it as their tea of choice.

Knowing this about myself, I did try to approach this tea review with an open mind and did drink several cups of the Holiday Chai to get a good feel for the tea’s overall flavor.

I’ll be honest, I’m still not impressed. The spicy flavors in this tea seem to be chaotically mushed together to cover up a poor quality black tea.

If I were to have an expectation for Chai, I would want the flavors to be crisp and distinct; coming together in a dance of spice and enhanced by a creamy, robust black tea.

Perhaps I am asking for too much. Although, I’m starting to think that I might actually like Chai if I could find the combination I had just described. But, it is not to be in this version of Chai tea.

In addition, to not being impressed with the overall flavor, I was disappointed to not experience any gingerbread or rum flavors, which the label on the box claims to be present in this tea blend: “A warming winter drink infused with gingerbread and rum.”

Unless, of course, that strange acidic taste is the rum…not having tasted pure rum my entire life, I guess I am not one to question the rum flavor. But, I do love gingerbread and I certainly didn’t experience that flavor in this chai tea.

What I did taste, without a doubt, was nutmeg. It really stole the show.

Just to make sure I was on target, I rummaged through my spices and took a taste of nutmeg straight from the jar and bingo, definitely nutmeg. That could be the reason I am not a fan of this version of Chai, I like nutmeg behind the scenes, not as the lead actor in my food and drink.

So, if you love nutmeg, this may be just the tea for you!

Packaging:

Stash Holiday Chai Packet

This chai tea comes in a cardboard box and each tea is sealed in a foil packet.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the directions printed on the box: “Bring fresh water to a rolling boil. Pour hot water directly over the tea bag in a pre-heated pot or cup. Brew 3-5 minutes or to desired taste.”  Since the directions didn’t specify how much water to use, I went with the general guideline of one cup.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea from Amazon.com just click the link below. Enjoy!

Stash Holiday Chai

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Trader Joe’s Vanilla & Cinnamon

Trader Joe's Vanilla & Cinnamon

Company/Brand Name: Trader Joe’s

Name: Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea

Category: Black Tea, Flavored (Seasonal)

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Vanilla, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon

Flavor: The cinnamon and vanilla flavors are a bit muddy tasting, yet they still work well together

Overall: I’m a sucker for any vanilla and cinnamon tea combination, even if the brew is a bit weak!

Tea Review:

When I first purchased this tea, I was wondering if it would taste similar to one of my favorite holiday teas, which is Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet. They both have exactly the same ingredients: vanilla, “other natural flavors” and cinnamon.

As soon as I got home and opened the wax seal, I knew that I had been correct in my assumption.

While allowing the tea to steep, the resulting fragrance pales in comparison to the Nutcracker Sweet’s inviting aroma.

I had a similar experience with the taste. The flavor is suggestive of vanilla and cinnamon, but it makes for a rather weak brew. Although, I found I could compensate for this by simply using less water.

At times, I got a little bit of a paper-y taste. Overall, the flavors were rather muddied; not clean and crisp tasting. It was difficult to distinguish the vanilla and cinnamon individually, but the combination somehow works out to make a sweet tasting holiday treat.

In conclusion, the Trader Joe’s brand just didn’t have that extra oomph of the Nutcracker Sweet, but would do in a pinch.

Packaging:

This holiday tea came in a rectangular cardboard box. The tea bags are square in shape and layered in twos on top of each other in a wax-lined paper seal. Because two tea bags are connected, you’ve got to tear them apart to use just one.

Trader Joes Vanilla and Cinnamon

Preparation Tips:

Per usual, I simply followed the directions printed on the box: “Pour boiling water directly over tea bag in a cup and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bag.”  Since no instructions were given regarding the amount of water to use, I went with the general guideline of 8-ounces. However, I would recommend 6-ounces to obtain a better flavor.

One thing I did find out accidentally, is that this tea can steep for quite a while without getting bitter.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – I would classify this as a dessert tea, because it does taste sweet due to the vanilla and cinnamon combination.

Holiday Tea – For some reason the warms notes of vanilla and cinnamon seem to be well suited for the holidays.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, you’ll have to live near a Trader Joes (because it isn’t available online) and wait until the holidays when it will be in stock again 🙂

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit:  A Girl With Tea 

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet

Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet

Company/Brand Name: Celestial Seasonings

Name: Nutcracker Sweet

Category: Black Tea Blend (Seasonal)

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Vanilla, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon

Flavor: A sweet, aromatic tea with an enchanting vanilla taste and just a hint of cinnamon spice

Overall: I always look forward to this time of year, because I know it is holiday tea season! Nutcracker Sweet has been one of my favorite holiday teas for many years now. Every time I open a box, my senses are captivated by the sweet vanilla scent. I can feel myself drift away momentarily to some magical place where anything is possible.

Tea Review:

As this tea steeps, it fills the surrounding area with a wonderful aroma, like something yummy is baking in the oven.

Once the tea is ready, the first sip never disappoints. The brew has a warm vanilla note that is delightfully creamy and rich tasting.

What makes this tea particularly interesting is the touch of cinnamon spice that lingers in the background. The spiciness is just right, not too harsh and not too subtle as to be overlooked.

I’ve found that sometimes vanilla flavored tea can taste a bit off, but I didn’t find that to be the case with this particular combination.

In fact, the vanilla is the star of this black tea blend, making it a holiday favorite.

Packaging:

Inside the colorful cardboard box is a wax-lined paper seal where all the tea bags are held. The square, flat tea bags are layered in twos and each tea bag is connected to another. To separate the two tea bags, you’ve got to tear them apart at the perforated center.

Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet

Preparation Tips:

I simply followed the directions printed on the box: “Pour freshly boiled water over one tea bag. Steep 3 to 5 minutes and remove tea bag.” Because there were no notes about how much water to use, I went with the general guideline of one cup. Then, I used a holiday mug to make things extra special!

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – The Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker box states that this is a “decadent-yet-healthy treat.” With zero calories, this tea is perfect when craving a little something sweet.

Iced Tea – This tea blend is also quite tasty when iced. Drinking it cooled seems to bring out the cinnamon flavor; it actually ends up tasting a bit spicier when chilled.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea from Amazon.com just click the link below. Enjoy!

Nutcracker Sweet

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Oolong Tea Review: Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Company/Brand Name: Stash

Name: Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Category: Oolong Tea, Flavored

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Fujian, China

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Orange Peel, Pineapple, Coconut Flavor, Mango Flavor

Flavor: A sweet and fruity blend with coconut leading the way

Overall: A taste of the tropics will greet you when sipping this tea. I hope you love coconut! Oh, and don’t forget to bring a flower lei with you!

Tea Review:

The aroma of this brew is simply beguiling. A delightful scent of sweet coconut breezes through the air, reminding me of tropical fruit and suntan lotion.

The first sip is a bit weak, especially after experiencing such a strong fragrance from the steeping tea leaves. But, the more sips I take, the more prominent the taste becomes.

Even though orange peel is second on the ingredients list, I really didn’t taste orange in my cup. Coconut is the primary flavor and steals the show.

To round off the overall flavor, there is a delightful creaminess to this oolong tea that creates a nearly perfect finish.

This tea is a great pick-me-up when feeling a bit tired. Visions of tall palm trees, white sandy beaches, and bare feet liberated from synthetic pantyhose, take me away for a moment to some exotic getaway.

Packaging:

This oolong tea comes in a cardboard box and each individual tea bag is encased in a foil packet.

Preparation Tips:

The brewing directions on the box state: “To savor the full flavor of our teas, bring fresh water to a rolling boil. Pour hot water directly over the tea bag in a pre-heated pot or cup. Brew 3-5 minutes or to desired taste.”

I found that I preferred to use water just under the boiling point when steeping this tea, it tended to enhance the flavor.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – This tea would make a wonderful dessert tea because of its sweet-coconut flavor.

Iced Tea – The flavor seems to really to express itself as the brew cools. In fact, I tried this tea chilled and the flavor was almost as intense as the initial aroma.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea from Amazon.com just click the link below. Enjoy!

Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.