Friday, July 29, 2005

Tea Review 4 - Good Earth Chai Vanilla Decaf

Chai Vanilla Decaf
Good Earth Teas

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll state my bias up front. I've never cared much for chai. Nor am I very fond of vanilla. And, as I've stated elsewhere, I never met a decaffeinated tea (real tea, not the so-called herbal "teas") that I liked.

So it was probably a foregone conclusion that I wasn't going to jump for joy over Good Earth's Chai Vanilla Decaf. I do recall drinking a tasty variety from Good Earth some years ago called China Black. Though I'm not fond of flavored black teas, this one used just a hint of peach along with some other subtle flavors. As I recall, it was quite nice. I'll have to try it again - but I digress.

On with the Chai Vanilla Decaf. In addition to decaf black tea, it includes chicory root, cardamom, cloves, pepper, ginger, cinnamon and various other unnamed spices. More or less the standard formulation for chai.

I used boiling water and steeped at the lower end of the recommended four to six minute range. The result was a somewhat cloudy brew with a pale, brownish color and a very faint aroma of spices, which is okay, if you go for that sort of thing. Unfortunately the taste was even fainter than the smell, almost to the point of being non-existent.

The package suggests adding milk and honey, "if desired." We didn't have honey on hand, but I decided to try soy milk. Now, I should point out that I'm not an "additive" kind of guy when it comes to tea. That includes sweeteners of any sort, milk, cream, lemon and whatever else people choose to spoil their tea with.

But I didn't figure I could do much damage to this particular brew, so I gave it a squirt of vanilla soy. This lent it an even less appealing look. As for flavor, well...I took a sip and spit it out.

Now, I've already confessed my bias, and it's quite possible that your results may vary. But unless you have a marked fondness for tea that's just a bit stronger than hot water, I doubt it.

Contents: 18 tea bags per box.
I paid: I don't recall, but Good Earth usually goes for somewhere in the three to four dollar range.

1 comment:

shirley said...

I love love love Good Earth's Decaf Chai Vanilla Tea. Several people I know love it too. I appreciate the writer's honesty, but hey if you don't like vanilla, or Chai, and rarely like flavored Black teas and decaf teas, this is after all what this this tea is all about. I usually add milk and pure maple syrup. The taste and the aroma are awesome! I found this website because I am ordering it because the grocery has been promising me for weeks that it will be in.