Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Simple Loose Leaf, Winter White Chai
A soft, delicate version of traditional Indian chai, Winter White Chai features our fine Shou Mei white tea amongst the backdrop of customary chai spices, with one surprising addition: coconut. Delicious served in the traditional chai manner with milk and sugar or untouched for a more simplistic and delicate cup.
Shou Mei, Cinnamon Chips, Cloves, Red Peppercorns, Black Peppercorns, Coconut, Lemongrass, Cardamom, Ginger Root, N/A Cardamom, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Vanilla and Coconut Flavor
This tea is the sixth in my continuing subscription provided by Simple Loose Leaf. I am enjoying their offerings and would (and do) recommend you give them a try. They offer sample sizes of their teas in case you want to see for yourself first before you commit.
As I have stated in previous reviews, I love their packaging. The vent to evacuate air out of the bag is a brilliant idea. The package has ingredients and steeping information, except I did not see a leaf amount per cup.
The leaf is interesting in appearance, looking very much like the picture. I believe this is my first experience with Shou Mei. The dry aroma is interesting but I can't grab any one flavor to explain what I am getting. Cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and coconut mixed. Spicy but not overly so.
I heated the water to 200 F per instructions using a large scoop of the big chunky leaf and steeped for 2 1/2 minutes. The liquor is clear and golden. The scent is much like the dry.
The taste is different from a tradition chai. I often find them overwhelming. This is not so much subdued as it is lighter than what I have normally encountered. To my senses, and I admit to not being good at distinguishing various spices, this is clove, ginger, and a lighter touch of cinnamon. I can't say I really taste the coconut. I kind of sense it bringing balance to the cup. The other ingredients are so tightly intertwined I am not able to pull them apart.
This reminds me of a powdered chai I used to buy in a coffee can sized container at Sam's Club - Mystic Chai. The big difference is this is not sweetened. Mystic Chai is way over sweet even for my sweet tooth. I added one packet of Splenda here and found even that to be a bit much.
I feel my description is not doing this justice, as chai is not high on my list of cravings. I did enjoy it, more so than most tea of this type. I can definitely see sitting around a fire on a cold evening and sipping this one.
Visit Simple Loose Leaf today.
I realized after posting that though this contains cinnamon and ginger, one of the main flavors I am tasting is cardamom. I often confuse it as cinnamon and ginger. So what? Well, I think it speaks well of this tea that I am still thinking about it a couple hours after walking away from the cup.