Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cha, Cha, Chai

I apologize for the paragraphing, Blogger is misbehaving again.

Another gray day in the neighborhood, but I see on the weather map we are about to have snow. It smells like it and the fur persons have been running in and out. There's an air of waiting outside and in spite of the gray, it is very bright.

We are in that awful period between ordering the plants and seeds for the spring and when you can start some seeds inside. It is always so heartening to see their little leaves poke up through the ground and amazing that these tiny 2 inch plants will become an 8 foot tomato vine. However, I have to wait until the end of February.

Today I am having a lovely tisane, sent from my friend Elizabeth in Canada. She is a fellow chocoholic and the tisane is President's Choice Chocolatey Chai. It has chicory, carob, spices, natural flavorings, cocoa shells, ginger, licorice root, stevia and cocoa, all packed in one small teabag. The bag comes in a wrapper, which has tiny pictures and written directions on how to brew this tea. It smells exactly like one of my favorite cookies - chocolate jumbles, which are thin, frosted chocolate spice cookies. It has a rich, deep aroma, which is pretty much how it tastes, with the chocolate, carob and chicory giving great depth and the spices rounding out a very tasty cup. My husband says it is very flowery and aromatic. This would be an excellent dessert tisane with some sugar cookies or pound cake.
I am making a sad comparison of this this with Golden Moon's Kahmiri Chai, made from black and green tea, cardamom, clove, cinnamon and spice oil. It smells very spicey and floral in the packet, with lemony hints from the cardamom. Unfortunately, it is very weak. The cardamom is the most forward spice, followed by the cinnamon. The flavor is well rounded and tasty. Perhaps if the sample had been larger, so the brew was stronger, I would have given it a higher rank. Compared to the other chai, this is a mere weakling. This comes from Golden Moon's sample pack of 30 different teas. My only complaint about the sampler is the samples are one cup only and kind of on the small side. However, I have had some truly excellent teas from them.
In spite of my quote a few days ago from MFK Fisher, I want no nasty comments about "boiled mice" and I am not drying this mouse to reuse it.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

I agree with you that single cup samples are on the small side. I ideally like to try brewing / drinking a tea three or more times before I write a review. I often find that my perception of the tea changes on different days, and based on different ways I brew it. And some teas I acquire a taste for only after drinking several cups that I don't enjoy as much.

I have yet to try anything from Golden Moon Tea but I've been seeing mention of them a lot and I look forward to trying them at some point.