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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: The English Tea Store’s Chai Green Tea

The Subject: Chai Green Tea from The English Tea Store.


Water temperature: 180° F
Steeping time: 3 minutes

Tea type: Green
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Coriander, cardamom
Aroma, dry: Green tea with spice overtones
Aroma in the cup, plain: Green tea with spice overtones
Taste, plain: Green tea with spice overtones
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Green tea with spice overtones
Taste, enhanced: Green tea with spice overtones

2nd Infusion: Stronger spice overtones

Chilled: Good

Having recently reviewed The English Tea Store’s Indian Spiced Chai and enjoyed it immensely, I was anxious to try their Chai Green Tea. This is my first time trying a chai made with green tea instead of black. (I’ve led a sheltered life, tea-wise.) Hubby was equally eager to test this tea, having learned from tasting the Indian Spiced Chai that Twinings and Starbucks are not the last word in chai teas.

Still, my brain could not initially wrap itself around the concept of chai made with green tea. It took almost a whole cupful to get past this. Once there, I had a truly enjoyable tea adventure. (Expectation can be quite a bug-a-boo, getting in the way of enjoying something!)

The scent when first opening the airtight packet was of Indian spices, but subtler than the Indian Spiced Chai — sort of like walking into the home of someone who cooks a lot of curry vs. walking into an Indian spice store.

Be prepared. This tea brews up light in color and is not meant to have milk added to it (you can, of course, add milk if you like — whatever suits your tastebuds). Don’t oversteep, as this tea gets bitter with an overly strong spice taste. The second infusion is also stronger on the spice taste and loses a lot of the green tea taste.

The taste plain in the cup is a balance of spices and green tea with a slightly bitter edge. We found that adding a little sweetener took away the edge and let the other flavors really dance.

We just had to try this tea with some of the Walker’s mince pies in our pantry. I was sure they would be a great “go-with,” but Hubby was skeptical. To the most pleasant surprise of us both, the taste combo was exquisite. Our theory is that mince pies are similar in taste to the date cookies we buy at the local Middle East market.

We had to take off a half teapot since neither of us finds this tea to be one we would drink every day. We deducted another half teapot for the overly spicy second infusion. Overall, though, this is a real eye-opener tea and bridges the gap nicely between black tea chais and green tea.

Disclaimer: The teas reviewed here were provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective. The mince meat pies were purchased by the reviewer.

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