Posts Tagged ‘Chai’

Product Description:

We blend the spicy tea ourselves for this puff

What I Think:

I love chai … I love 240Sweet’s marshmallows … it’s kind of a no-brainer!  I knew I’d love these puffs!  They are so fluffy and sweet, but also deliciously spicy.  And these aren’t like vanilla marshmallows that have been rolled in finely ground spices and tea, the spiced tea has been infused into the marshmallow, flavoring every inch of these huge marshmallows, making for a very satisfying tea and marshmallow experience … all in one!  Of course, a cup of tea along with it doesn’t hurt!

Believe it or not, though, I found these to be better with a cup of hot cocoa.  I put one in the cocoa to melt while I munched happily away on another (for review purposes only, of course, I needed to see what it tasted like without the cocoa’s influence).  Because of the spices and the hint of tea in the marshmallows, they offered a lovely layer of flavor to the cocoa that I really enjoyed.

I can taste the cinnamon and the peppery kick of the ginger in this.  I also taste hints of clove and I can even taste the subtle note of tea in there.  The aftertaste is a little bit like cardamom.  The spices are very warm and delicious, and offer a pleasing contrast to the sweet flavor of the marshmallow base.

My Final Thoughts:

240Sweet’s marshmallows are my favorite and there’s a reason for that.  They’re superb!  Have you ever tried a homemade marshmallow?  They are so much better than anything store-bought.  You really MUST get to 240Sweet and order some Marshmallows.  They have so many tempting flavors from which to choose … and this one may be my favorite one yet.  I love the spices here – they’re spicy without being out-of-control hot … tempered by the sweet, luscious, puffy marshmallow.   So good.

Product Description:

Our original spicy blend and boldest brew, with traditional flavors of cardamom, ginger, clove, pepper and cinnamon. Brewed with organic Assam black tea and sweetened with
organic cane sugar.

Learn more about Dragonfly Chai on their website.

What I Think:

I found a bottle of this chai concentrate at New Seasons Market when I visited them recently.  I had tasted (and really enjoyed) Dragonfly Chai before when I dined at Cup and Saucer Cafe, but I really wanted the chance to experiment with the concentrate myself.  So, I decided to pick up a bottle of the Spicy Black Tea Chai concentrate.

And it is SPICY!  Usually with spicier chai blends like this one, it is because they added lots of ginger, but, what is different here is that it doesn’t taste overly ginger-y.  I taste a lot of ginger, but, I also taste cinnamon, clove, pepper and cardamom.  It is spicy but it is not a concentration of peppery spice, allowing the other spices to reach the palate.

It is really easy to prepare a cup of latte:  2 parts of chai concentrate to 1 part milk.  I tried it once using coconut milk in place of my milk mixture, and I didn’t really care for it, so I think I’ll leave the coconut milk to my smoothies and keep using a mixture of 1/4 cup one percent milk and 1/4 cup half & half (to make 1/2 cup of milk mixture) and add that to 1 cup of chai concentrate.  Then you can heat it on the stove or in the microwave until its a suitable temperature … and enjoy.

Really, it’s not that much easier than to make a stovetop chai latte using loose leaf tea, BUT it is a lot less messy, and that’s just as important to me as simplicity because I hate cleaning up the mess after preparing chai using the stovetop method (that is, simmering the loose leaf chai blend on the stovetop in a mixture of milk and water for a few minutes, straining and serving) It’s messy, and for that reason I rarely make a stovetop chai.

DragonFly Chai to the rescue!

My Final Thoughts:

I’ve tried a few different chai concentrates, and there are some that I really enjoy, and some that I really didn’t enjoy at all.  This is one that I really enjoy!  I also LOVE that DragonFly Chai is a local company, based in Portland.  If you like chai, but find that you don’t want to deal with the fuss and mess of making your own on the stovetop, give DragonFly Chai a try!

Product Description:

Hand made and hand cut, these bring out the kid in all of us. Sweet delicate puffs, available in vanilla and peppermint. Great as a confection on their own, on top of hot chocolate, or a midnight snack.

Learn more about Rubicon Bakery on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

While marshmallows are typically thought of a topping for hot chocolate, I enjoyed these right out of the package with a fresh, hot cup of Masala Chai!  Which one?  Well, the Original Masala Chai from Yogic Chai that was featured in the Ski Lodge Cafe box, of course!  The soft, fluffy, vanilla-y flavor of the marshmallows seemed to bring out the warm spicy tones of the chai so wonderfully.  And… here’s a tip:  instead of making a chai latte, try pouring the freshly brewed chai right over a marshmallow and let it melt in there like you might with a cup of hot chocolate.  It’s a cup of creamy spiced deliciousness!

What I Think:

I can’t remember exactly when it was, but it wasn’t but a few years ago that I actually “discovered” homemade marshmallows.  Before that, marshmallows were those stale bits of cloyingly sweet stickiness that came in a plastic bag from the grocery store.  They made a good roasted marshmallow, mostly because they were so dense and sticky that they are able to adhere nicely to the end of a roasting stick.  But, really, other than for that occasional marshmallow roasting, I wouldn’t buy commercial marshmallows because they’d end up going even more stale before the bag was consumed.  They just weren’t all that good.

Then … I tried a homemade marshmallow.  I think I found my first package at Trader Joe’s.  And, let me tell you, I was in marshmallow heaven!  Since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to try many different homemade marshmallows, but it is one confection I of which I never tire!

These Vanilla Marshmallows from Rubicon Bakery are delicious.  They are sweet and fluffy, not heavy or cloyingly dense like commercially manufactured marshmallows.  When they melt in a cup of hot chocolate (or tea!) they impart a delightful creaminess without tasting too sweet.  And… when I eat one on its own, it’s like a soft, vanilla cloud!  However, I don’t recommend eating more than one, they tend to get a little too sweet after the first one.  But that just leaves more for later!

My Final Thoughts:

I am not going to say that these are the best marshmallows that I’ve tasted, because I’ve tasted quite a few homemade marshmallows that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and I don’t know that these were necessarily “the best.”  But they are VERY good!

OK… when it came to selecting this month’s Foodzie box, I was in a bit of a quandary, because I really did not know which to choose.  There was the Brooklyn Box which included some very intriguing choices like the rosemary onion crackers and bacon old bay peanuts and THE KING candy bar.  In fact, all of the items in the Brooklyn Box sounded very tempting to me, and I almost chose it.

But, then there was the Ski Lodge Box that is filled with treats (and you know my sweet tooth!) and … Masala Chai.  So, ultimately, I chose the Ski Lodge Box.  But, despite my sweet tooth, I didn’t choose this box because of the sweets inside, but because of the Chai.  For me, tea is one of the most important “food” groups, and masala chai is one of my favorite types of tea.  I already found myself second guessing my February choice because I didn’t go for the Chai cola, no way I was going to do that again.  So, as tempting as the Brooklyn box was … it was the tea that made me choose this month’s Ski Lodge Box.

And now that the box has arrived, I don’t regret it for a second!  What a wonderful array of goodies to enjoy!  This month’s box includes Fresh Marshmallows from Rubicon Bakery, two different types of Shortbread Cookies from Rustic Bakery, Java Rocks from How Do You Take Your Coffee?, Peppermint Mints from Vermints, two Hot Chocolate on a Stick from Ticket Kitchen and of course, the Masala Chai from Yogic Chai.

YUM!

OK, so I’ve tried and reviewed the Masala Chai from Yogic Chai, but, you know what?  It’s so good that I’m happy to have more of it.  It’s one of the best chai blends out there.  (So good, in fact, that it has won first place at the North American Tea Championship two years in a row!)  And I received the Hot Chocolate on a Stick in a previous tasting box (interestingly enough, it was the March box from last year!  Here’s my review of this product.)  And, I’m already a fan of Vermints – I always keep a tin of their Chai Mints in my purse!  But, I haven’t yet tried their peppermints!

As always, Foodzie also included their theme card in the tasting box which included brief description about this theme:

Fireplaces are the best parts of winter aren’t they?  You curl up beside it after a day outside skiing, snowboarding or sledding and feel your frosty fingers thaw around a soothing mug of something steamy.  This month we’re embracing the last month of winter and the warming flavors we crave during it.  A hot cup of cocoa topped with squishy tender marshmallows (and delicate cookies to dunk inside), spicy chai, chunks of chocolate-espresso, finished off with a little minty freshness for fireside cuddling and canoodling.  So don your best Nordic sweater, and imagine you’re at the base of the slopes, living it up at a ski lodge cafe.  Make the most of these last days of winter — spring is right around the corner.

Sounds good to me!

Where to Buy:  AvenueSweets on Foodzie

Price:  $10.75 for an 8-oz. box

Product Description:

It’s like Pumpkin Pie in a caramel! Rich, delicious and filled with all of the yummy pumpkin flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger – these are wonderful caramels to enjoy year round. Created in small batches, AvenueSweets confections are handcrafted using only the freshest ingredients. There are no additives or preservatives ensuring fresh, rich flavors that are delectable.

What I Think:

This may just prove to be the most difficult review I’ve ever written.

Why?

Because these are incredible.  So incredible, in fact, that while I am chewing on one, it is hard to come up with words to describe just how delicious they are, except to resort to a childhood response of “Mmmmm” whilst chewing, and after I’m finished with a bite, all I can think about is “I want another one.”  I am having difficulty getting beyond that.  Words fail me.

These are quite possibly the best caramels I’ve ever eaten.  And I’ve eaten quite a bit of caramel, as it is probably my favorite confection after chocolate.  These Pumpkin Spice Caramels are soft that my teeth sink into them … I’m not really even biting, my teeth just sink right into the candy.  And of course, they are chewy (ever have caramel that isn’t chewy?)  But what makes these SO different from all the rest is that they are remarkably creamy and smooth.  No grit or sugary texture.  Just silky smooth creaminess – as if it were just made.  I can taste the fresh cream and butter in these.  But at the same time, I don’t feel like they’re coated in butter, the way so many other caramels taste, especially some of those “handcrafted” caramels that you might find at a local farmer’s market.

Others that have tried these claim to taste “pumpkin” in these, but I do not.  I do taste the spices that you would put into a pumpkin pie:  cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and my favorite, nutmeg.  So I get while these are called “Pumpkin Spice,” but in the opinion of this tea lover, they could just as easily be called “Chai Spice.”  Or even “Autumn Spice.”

But to be honest, it doesn’t really matter what they are called.  These are OUTSTANDING caramel candies.

My Final Thoughts:

I opened this review by stating it would be difficult to come up with words to describe these, and now that I’ve finished them, the only words that I can come up with are:  I want more.