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This month for the summer vacation prompt I’m going to focus on Nepali teas! I purchased a sampler of teas back in 2018 from Nepal Teas booth at the San Francisco International Tea Fest (they came in a lovely handmade pouch too, which I still use as my “travel tea” pouch on vacations). Later, I saw a really great presentation by the owner of Nepal Teas at the Portland Tea Fest in 2019… I moved house and got a cat just a month after that, and ended up naming her “Chiya,” the Nepali word for “tea,” because it somehow stuck out in my mind from that presentation and sounded “cat-like” to me, hahaha!

I assumed each sample packet was one sachet teabag, and found myself surprised after I tore open the top of the foil that there was quite a bit of loose leaf packed inside! I use 2.5g for a 350ml cup, and there was still 5.5g left inside the packet. The packets are tear-foil and not resealable, so I’ll have to use up the remainder of tea today… I may make a latte or a larger pot later.

The dry leaf has a strong peppery smell. Brewed up, I do still smell the pepper, but the strongest aroma from the cup is that particular peppery/minty scent I get from cardamom. On sip, this is a very smooth chai; there is a pleasant warming but it isn’t uncomfortably spicy (I’m very sensitive to spice). The cardamom stands out the most to me in the flavor, but I’m able to pick out the other spices, as well; midsip is a slight pepperiness, and the end of the sip and aftertaste leave a lingering sensation of pungent and sweeter cinnamon and the tiniest, subtle ginger kick.

The black tea itself is perhaps coming off a little weaker than I prefer in a chai, but that could just be the age of the leaves having lost some luster so the spices really take over. There is no astringency though, which I often get from really robust or CTC chais, which is very pleasant. There is perhaps a slight honey-oats sort of flavor from the base in the background, but the sip is so cardamom forward that it is very subtle.

A pleasant cup of chai. Sometimes I find blends with lots of spices can feel a bit overwhelmed and I rarely can taste all the different components then, anyway. This is a simple mix of only a few spices, but each is discernable and adds to the medley in the cup.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Honey, Oats, Pepper, Smooth, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited outbound gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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