Friday, April 15, 2016

**REVIEW** Darjeeling Loose Leaf Masala Chai Tea

This product is a detox tea that is a chai
  1. It smells SO good, and
  2. It isn't like any chai I've ever had.
I don't guess I've ever had a "real" chai before, and I hadn't ever heard of "Masala chai" until now. Maybe that's the thing. I'm pretty sure that when Western commerce jumped on the chai wagon, they didn't stay true to the original version(s). The only chai I've had have been from Starbucks or from one of the shelf brands at the local grocery stores.

In my cultural ignorance, I wondered if Masala chai was different from the chai I've had previously. That's funny to me now that I realize just how ignorant I truly was on the subject. And just how ignorant was I?
"Chai" is simply the word for "tea" in India, and "masala" means spices. So masala tea or masala chai is tea that is made usually with milk, mint, cardamom and sometimes a couple of other spices. (source)
Um, Okay.

The other thing I learned when I first brewed this up was I can be such a guy. I never follow instructions. Instead of brewing a teaspoon of the tea in about 7 ounces of water, I had to go and use two teaspoons in about 10 ounces of water. I did follow the steeping time of the 3 to 5 minute range, but... the other instructions were more important. My first cup was so strong it could have moved mountains. My bad.

When made correctly, this is really good. Actually, it wasn't bad strong, but...

Like I said, I love the smell of this, but the taste did throw me. I've been whoring out my tastebuds to the sugary stuff that I get packaged and with a chain logo on it. I wasn't ready for the real thing. Also, I was trying to drink it "as is". When I added cream to the hot brew, the taste love went way up. Strangely enough, I can drink the cold brew without cream. I do need honey for drinking it hot or cold, but the cream really does something for the hot version.

Maybe because I drink most of my teas cold, I prefer this one cold. I like to put it in my carry-bottle, add some honey, then sip off of it for a few hours. Keep in mind how strong I tend to make it.

It's going to take me a few days (or more) before I can update you on how this makes me feel, but the ingredients are all things that I have been adding to my diet lately. It makes sense that if those ingredients are all good for you, the tea will be good for you. The best thing is, I can get the tea into my body on a regular basis. I do cook more lately with a variety of spices, but this way, I can get the clove and cinnamon in my system.

Here's the big surprise to me: there is black pepper in this. Only just recently have I been adding pepper to my diet. I've always been a weakling when it comes to "hot" food. I've been slowly adding cayenne and black pepper to my dishes. What threw me with this tea is that I couldn't even taste the pepper.

Second kind of surprising thing: this was more refreshing than the chai I've had in the past. Maybe because I can drink it cold and without a lot of heavy creams and other dairy products? It's got a cooling effect on warm days. I didn't expect that. Also, I just like drinking it cold.

Last of all, even though I got this bag for free, I was wondering if the price was a good one. Now that I find I like this, I realize that, because it doesn't take but a teaspoon (follow those directions!) to make a cup (or more, I guess, depending on how strong you like it), this is very reasonable as it's currently priced.


In exchange for providing my fair and honest review, I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free or at a discount using Regardless, I only review products that I have personally used and can give an opinion of.