Tag Archives: spice

Review: Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte

Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte product photo.

Now that it’s the time of year for “pumpkin spice everything”, how do the seasonal flavored teas hold up under the promise of autumnal tea-time goodness?  Today’s beverage: Pumpkin Spice Latte by Tazo Chai, which can be found at selected Target stores, Safeway, Lucky, and other local grocery stores.  The flavored tea is also available in tea bags for those who would rather make their own beverage.  The front of the carton reads: “A seasonal blend of warming chai with pumpkin pie spices and other natural flavors.” Caffeine level is 4 out of 5, which supposedly translates to 46 to 60 mg. per serving. The back of the carton reads: “Cinnamon and cardamom sit by a crackling fire, knitting black tea scarves and catching up over mugs of steamed milk. Ginger waltzes in with a just-baked pumpkin pie, the aroma filling the room with sweet spice.”

140 calories per ½ cup of concentrate with the addition of ½ cup of 2% milk.

Ingredients: water, black tea, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, natural flavors, cane sugar syrup, honey, ginger juice, citric acid.

I found Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte to be a mildly flavored, sweet and pleasant variation on their traditional chai. There is no “pumpkin” flavor to speak of, and no “tea” flavor, but the warm spices are there and they mix well with the added milk. I would not say that this tastes like drinking a piece of pumpkin pie; it’s actually very similar to their regular chai, except that the flavor is milder. I also found that the caffeine level was not as high, as compared to their regular chai concentrate, which I drink in the afternoons to get me through the afternoon energy slump without having to take a nap. This Pumpkin Pie Spice Chai blend did not keep me awake at all! It is a tasty drink, however, and very seasonally appropriate, but I will probably not buy it again, instead sticking with Tazo’s regular chai blend.

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my other blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

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Review: Numi Orange Spice White Tea

Numi Orange Spice Tea. http://www.numitea.com. Used with permission.

San Jose stores offer many spicy tea blends that are perfect for autumn and winter cold weather. Numi Orange Spice White Tea is one of the better ones. The tea is packaged in regular tea bags sealed in a plastic-lined paper pouch. The label reads: , “White Tea/Lower Caffeine”, “Numi Organic Tea”, and “Orange Spice/White tea, real orange peel & spice” on the front. The back reads: “For the perfect cup: Bring fresh water to a boil, allow to cool slightly, then pour over a bag of Orange Spice. While pondering ancient myths, steep 5 – 6 minutes. For iced tea, steep 2 tea bags, cool and pour over ice”. The ingredient list reads: “organic Cinnamon, organic Orange Peel, organic Cloves, Fair Trade Certified™ organic White Tea, organic Hibiscus, organic Allspice, organic Ginger, organic Lemongrass, organic Schizandra Berry, organic Dried Lime.” The back also reads “the tea bag is made of natural biodegradable filter-paper, not GMO corn or plastic ‘silk’. This outer package is made from 72% recycled content. Organic and Fair Trade Certified. Certified B Corporation, meeting standards in sustainability.”

I was surprised to discover that this was a white tea blend, and contained so many ingredients, when I opened the package. The tea inside smelled like a standard orange spice blend, but wasn’t as dark as your regular orange spice black tea, like old favorite Constant Comment. The orange, ginger, cloves and cinnamon were the dominant scents and flavors, with perhaps a little extra acidity from the lemongrass and dried lime, but no apparent flavor addition. I was happy to find (since I don’t like it) that the hibiscus was also hardly there. I’m not familiar with Schizandra berry so I’m not sure what that was supposed to add to this tea, but I couldn’t taste anything besides the orange and spices, including the white tea! White tea has such a delicate flavor and aroma that I wonder why Numi added it to an otherwise strongly flavored spice and herb blend; didn’t they realize it would get completely lost under so many flavorful ingredients?

However, I like orange spice tea blends, so I enjoyed Numi Orange Spice White Tea and can recommend it to other tea lovers who also like tea flavored with citrus and spices. It was a tasty addition to my meal, but it would be equally good with a piece of shortbread in the afternoon, or even just by itself. You could add a tiny bit of sugar, honey or sweetener to this tea, but I don’t recommend that you make it very sweet, even if you usually like sweet tea, because that will overpower the refreshing tang of the citrus. Because of the citrus in this blend, I also don’t recommend the addition of milk, because of the likelihood that the dairy will curdle on contact with the citrus.  Numi Tea is offered at certain restaurants and grocery stores in the Bay Area; Eric’s Delicafe as well as Safeway grocery stores and Whole Foods in the San Jose area sell the brand.

Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my other blog, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea!

For more information:
Numi Tea website
Numi Orange Spice White Tea product page
“Review: Vital Tea Leaf Angel green tea and Siberian Rose tisane”
“Review: the Royal Wedding tea from Lisa’s Tea Treasures”
“How to make holiday orange spice tea”
“Review: Buccaneer blend from SerendipiTea” 
“Review of Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong”
“Review: Orange Blossom 100% White Tea from The Republic of Tea” 
“Review: Passion blend from SerendipiTea”
“Review: Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea”
“Review: Twinings Earl Grey tea”
“Review of Tazo Organic Spiced Black Tea Latte concentrate”
“Review of Oregon Chai Original Chai Tea Latte concentrate”

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Review of Tazo Organic Chai Spiced Black Tea Latte Concentrate

Tazo Organic Chai concentrate. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Chai is becoming more and more popular in the United States, and liquid chai concentrates make it very easy to enjoy an instant cup of chai.  Tazo Organic Chai Spiced Black Tea Latte Concentrate is described as “a rich blend of flavorful teas, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom & vanilla” and “an enticing source of wonder, inspiration & optimism.”  It is packaged in 32 oz. sealed, aseptic cartons and does not need refrigeration until after it is opened.  Tazo is made in the USA from imported teas, is certified organic by the QAI, and Kosher.

The carton reads: “Chai first enchanted tea drinkers in the Himalayas more than 2,000 years ago, a time when all things were organic.  To make Tazo Organic Chai, our tea shamans combine full-flavored teas with aromatic, natural spices.  Enjoyable hot or iced, this drink is especially delightful when consumed with pure thoughts” and “Like tea itself, good fortune is best when shared with others.  To see how Tazo gives back to communities around the world, visit us at http://www.tazo.com/csr.”

Preparation instructions (in French and English) on the carton read: “A splendid cup of chai—1. Simply shake carton and mix equal parts of Chai concentrate withmilk (or any milk substitute).  2. Add heat. Tazo tea lattes are easily prepared using your microwave, stove top, or open fire pit.  To Prepare Cold: Mix with equal parts milk (or any milk substitute) and pour over ice.”

The ingredients are “an infusion of (water, [organic] black tea, [organic] black pepper, [organic] cardamom, [organic] cinnamon, [organic] ginger root, [organic] cloves, natural flavors and [organic] star anise), [organic] cane sugar, [organic] honey, [organic] ginger juice, natural flavors, vanilla and citric acid.”  There are 70 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrate in a 4 fl. oz. serving (undiluted with milk).

Tazo Chai has a nicely balanced flavor and is not overly sweet.  The black tea flavor is in the background, and the warm spices are the predominant flavor, but none stands out and can really be identified apart from the other spices.  There is a bit of heat sensation from the ginger, pepper, cinnamon and/or cloves when the chai is consumed cold, which would probably be more pronounced if the chai was hot.  It is a tasty addition to a tea party pantry, and a good choice to have on hand for chai lovers.

Tazo
P.O. Box 125
Portland, OR 97207
1-800-299-9445

Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea!

For more information: “Review of Haagen Dazs Sweet Chai Latte ice cream”
“Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality black tea”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“How to make Thai tea”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“What is chai and where can I get it in San Jose?”
“How to make masala chai at home”
“How to make ‘instant’ chai”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”

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Filed under Product Reviews, Tea, Vendors and Shops