Friday, January 16, 2015

The Persimmon Tree, Rooibos Vanilla Chai

The Persimmon Tree Description:
Our Vanilla Rooibos Chai tea features a delightful blend of masala chai spices, red rooibos and a hint of vanilla. Rooibos Vanilla Chai is naturally caffeine, making it a perfect any-time tea. Much like its caffeinated cousin Masala Chai, this tea tastes delicious with milk and sugar.

Organic Rooibos, Vanilla Flavoring, Ginger Pieces, Cinnamon Pieces, Cardamom, Clove, Orange Pieces

Sample provided bt The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

My Review:
Last month I tried The Persimmon Tree's Masala Chai and discovered that just maybe I did like chai after all. I thought their spices were exceptionally well blended to my tastes. I liked it, so I went all crazy and had this vanilla chai with a rooibos base sent for review this month. I am a wild man - red tea and chai, whilst and at the same time. Yep, I'm out of control.

I love The Persimmon Tree tins. They keep the tea fresh for a good long time, and I think they are easy to photograph. Cutting the seal and popping the lid, I am met with the traditional clove and cardamom spices. In addition I catch faint hints of the ginger and also the rooibos. It all flows together well. It verges on potpourri but that is kind of normal for chai, in my opinion.

There are some chunks in the leaf and something resembling twigs. I finally concluded the chunks are orange rind. The twigs I tasted and still am not sure.

Today I used my mug with built in infuser basket. I keep forgetting the mesh is not usually fine enough for rooibos. It turned out OK as I don't notice any floating in my mug.

I used 200F filtered water and a five minute steep. The result is an inviting deep orange colored steamy brew.

The scent is largely cinnamon and orange. I didn't notice either in the dry scent.

The taste with no  additives is cinnamon and rooibos with some orange and the heat from ginger. I think the vanilla tames the rooibos taking the edge off it. It is kind of hard to know for sure as the ginger puts a little edge back in. This is nice, but I think we can do better.

I added sweetener (Splenda in my test). This did brighten the taste quite a bit. Now the orange and ginger are the front notes with the other spices just behind and the rooibos a little more than barely decipherable. I can't say I taste vanilla, yet it seems kind of creamy. Sweetened is better.

For the final challenge, I add milk. This makes for a warm cup of spicy yum. The spices wash past my taste buds and before I can separate which it is, another washes by. The ginger still dominates a little too much for me but I am not a big ginger enthusiast so it doesn't surprise me that I notice it.

My opinion is milk and sugar are definitely the way to go here. While I prefer the standard Masala Chai, this is a fun drink. It makes me want to sit around a fire in the cool night air and sip while chatting.

You can find The Persimmon Tree, Rooibos Vanilla Chai here.

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