Posts Tagged ‘Drink’

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!

Normally, I’d publish tea reviews on one of two tea review blogs to which I contribute:  SororiTea Sisters or the Tea Review Blog.  However, since this tea was part of the Jump Start My New Year Tasting Box from Foodzie, I decided to review this tea here on my foodie blog. 

Product Description:

This is tea for coffee lovers: Rich, dark, with hints of caramel and dark spice. Pu’er is green tea that’s been sun-ripened, which both mellows its flavor and increases its healthful compounds. These are believed to aid digestion, assist in weight loss and eliminate alcohol toxins.

Learn more about Five Mountains on their website.

What I Think:

It’s no big secret that I love tea.  But I don’t love all tea, and I believe I mentioned on my article about the arrival of my Jump Start box that I’m not the biggest fan of Pu-erh.  And I’m not.  If I had to list my teas in order of preference, Pu-erh may not end up as the last on that list, but it would certainly rate in the bottom three.

That being said, I am slowly developing an appreciation for Pu-erh, as I am finding more and more Pu-erh teas that I’ve actually enjoyed.  They weren’t just “drinkable” but actually enjoyable.  This Pu-erh from Five Mountains certainly rates as enjoyable.

It is a rich, flavorful Pu-erh (or Pu’er, as Five Mountains calls it) with a beautiful sweetness that tastes similar to caramel.  There is also a warmth to this tea with hints of gentle spice.  It is earthy and a little brine-y which is often expected in a Pu-erh, but, it is not quite as brine-y as some Pu-erh teas that I’ve tried, and I appreciate that.  Some Pu-erh teas can be almost fishy in taste, and it is that fishy taste that makes me not so fond of Pu-erh.  I am glad that this is NOT fishy, only a little salty perhaps, and it is a distant flavor that doesn’t disrupt the aforementioned rich caramel-y flavor and spiced tones that I find so enjoyable about this tea.  In fact, the hint of salt in the background may actually work to this tea’s favor, accenting the robust flavors of the tea just right.

My Final Thoughts:

This tea is remarkably smooth from start to finish, with no bitterness or astringency.  Just sweet, rich flavor that makes the tea an absolute pleasure to sip.  If all of my Pu-erh experiences were as positive as this one, I wouldn’t have had to preface this review by saying I’m not a big fan of it, because this is grand!

Product Description:

Unapologetically flavorful with a splash of bergamot citrus. A refreshing new take on the classic Earl Grey.

Learn more about Teatulia Teas here.

What I Think:

As you may recall, this is the tea that I received in my Tea Time Treats tasting box … yes, the tasting box from September!  I had tried and reviewed this tea before, but, since I am just now finishing up the last of this tea from my September tasting box, I thought I’d explore it a little via review for this blog.

I do love Earl Grey, it is one of my favorite flavored black teas.  There is just something about the tangy flavor of bergamot when combined with the bold flavor of black tea.  An incredible flavor combination.

What makes this Earl of Bengal a bit different from a typical Earl Grey is the tea base that is used which is a black tea from a tea estate in Bangladesh.   This gives the black tea a different flavor:  it is robust and full-flavored, but with a smoothness to it that is moderately astringent.  In my first tasting of this tea, I did not note any bitterness to the cup, and while there is not a strong bitter taste with this tasting, I notice just a hint of bitterness – a savory bitterness – that hits about mid-sip.  The bitterness leaves almost as quickly as it arrives, offering just a bit of contrast to the sweeter tones of the tea and the tangy notes of the bergamot.

My Final Thoughts:

I really enjoy this tea.  A lovely rendition of Earl Grey!

How’s this for being a bit behind?  This is one of the items in the AUGUST Foodzie Tasting Box!   Fortunately, though, it is the last of the August items that I need to review … and I do have an excuse.  My blender broke down earlier this year, and I hadn’t yet replaced it until September… even so, it still took me a couple of months to get around to actually breaking out the blender and whipping up this delightful confectionery beverage.

Where to Buy:  Serendipity 3 on Foodzie

Price:  $35.70 for a 6-pack of 6-oz pouches

Product Description:

From the famous NYC Landmark restaurant, Serendipity 3, Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. A blend of 14 exotic cocoas mixed in a blender with milk and ice to create a devilishly delectable drink!

What I Think:

I guess it is fair to say that I like it.  I am, after all, a chocoholic.  These 6 ounce packages make enough to share with others … or to make an incredibly indulgent treat for one.  I shared mine with my youngest daughter, my husband and my brother-in-law, mostly because they were around while I was making it, and I would have felt incredibly selfish to not share it.

My daughter says it tastes like a frosty (from Wendy’s) and… I’d agree with that, except that this has more depth of flavor.  I can taste more chocolate in it.  While I would describe the frosty as a pretty one-dimensional treat, this has many layers of chocolate-y flavor.  This is the “frosty” for chocolate connoisseurs.

The chocolate is incredibly rich and creamy, with profound notes of savory bitterness and sweet chocolatey goodness.  This puts every chocolate shake that I’ve ever tasted to shame.  Even the ones I’ve made.

This is SOOOOO good.

Now, for the bad news.  It’s quite pricy.  At $5.95 per 6-ounce package, I can’t really justify the price.  Especially considering that I could make more ice cream shakes using a high-end ice cream than I could with one package of this mix … and still end up spending less than I would with just one package of the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix.  Of course, the ice cream shakes would not taste as delightful as this decadent treat, but… I fear that much of the complexity in the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is lost with my young daughter (who compared it to a frosty) and my husband (who would be just as happy, I think, with a store brand fudge bar).  And since I am more of a tea drinker than a chocolate ice drink consumer, I just can’t find a justification for purchasing this.  I am REALLY glad that I had the opportunity to try it though… because it was AMAZING!

My Final Thoughts:

Very good.  I can’t help but wonder how delicious it would be if I had dropped a banana in the blender and made a Frrrozen Banana Hot Chocolate.   Hmm… maybe I will have to buy just one box… if for not other reason than to try it with the banana!

Where to Buy:  Nana Mae’s Organics on Foodzie

Price:  $28.00 for four 32-ounce bottles

Product Description:

With their distinctive harmony of sweet and tart, juicy and crisp, Nana Mae’s Grav. Juice suspends this short season for you. Treat yourself to this apple’s lovely flavor profile in a Spritzer or Marinade today.

What I Think:

I feel that I should start this review by stating that I’ve never (at least not to my knowledge) tried a Gravenstein apple.  On my last visit to Whole Foods, I looked for Gravenstein apples because I thought that we would be receiving a sampling of this juice in this month’s Foodzie Tasting Box, and I wanted to become acquainted with this mysterious apple.  And while the selection of apples this time of year at Whole Foods is vast, there were no Gravenstein apples.

So I shall have to review this juice without feeling very qualified to judge it on its merits as a juice from Gravenstein apples, and instead, judge it as an apple juice (and I have had several different varieties of apples in my life, my favorite is the Honeycrisp apple).

Wow!  TART!  But it is sweet too.  It starts out with a powerful punch of tartness, and eventually the wave of tartness subsides and a sweetness emerges, as if it had always been there, just waiting in the shadows of its rather strong counterpart.  It is an incredibly flavorful apple juice – certainly NOT that sickly sweet apple juice you can find in your local grocery store.

Having no prior experience with Gravenstein apples, I really had no idea of what to expect with this juice.  I really enjoyed what I tasted, but, as I am not a big fan of tartness, this is not a product I see myself purchasing in the future.  It was delicious, and I like that its only ingredient was apples – no sugar or sweeteners of any kind.  I like that it’s organic.  But I can’t help but wish it were a little less tart.

My Final Thoughts:

I am not that incredibly fond of tartness, I must confess.  Yes, I am enjoying this apple juice, but, I can’t see myself rushing out to buy this juice, nor can I see myself seeking out Gravenstein apples to try one now that I’ve tasted the juice.  I think I’ll stick with Honeycrisp.

Where to Buy:  Oren’s Kitchen on Foodzie

Price:  $6.99 for a 4-oz. pouch

Product Information:

Ajwain, a delicious unusual spice reminiscent of fresh cedar, cumin and ghee (clarified butter) are the perfect Indian flavor compliment to the simple pleasure of fine whole cashews.

What I Think:

When I received my September Tasting Box from Foodzie and discovered that these cashews were part of the Tea Time Treats themed box, I was elated!  I found these on Foodzie some time ago, and have wanted to try them ever since, but was a little afraid.  Even though I consider myself to have somewhat of an adventurous palate, I don’t like the idea of spending money on shipping an item to me only to regret it because I didn’t enjoy what I purchased.  That’s one of the reasons I love Foodzie’s Tasting Box … it enables me to try things that might otherwise not have.

And I’m really glad I got to try these because they’re really quite delicious.  Before opening the package, I had read one less-than-satisfied Foodzie customer’s remarks on Foodzie’s Facebook page, complaining about the greasiness of these nuts.  And yes, they are on the oily side (have a napkin close by when you snack on these!) as they are processed with not only olive oil but ghee – and nuts have their own natural oil as well.  But I’m not finding to be too oily, but perhaps that’s because I like the way every flavor (including that of the oil and ghee) comes together on the palate. Or maybe it’s because I always order my popcorn with extra butter.

The cumin, the ajwain (which has woody, resinous sort of flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of rosemary with cedar-ish top notes), the salt, and the sweet nutty flavor of the cashew combined with the olive oil and ghee make for an explosion of contrasting flavors.  It is very savory, but with hints of sweetness in the background.  A little smoky.  Warm with spice.  Salty.  And irresistibly crunchy. YUM!

And when it comes to tea time – these are a delightful snack.  I don’t know that I would serve them at a tea party because as I sad, these are somewhat greasy and you don’t want guests wiping their fingertips on their tea party dress.  But, they’re excellent now, as I sit here on my own, just contemplating the joy of my tea and these cashews.  The tea I chose to enjoy with these cashews is this Wuyi Oolong from the Tao of Tea.  I like the way the smoky tones from the tea and the smoky notes from the cumin enhance each other without one overpowering the other.

My Final Thoughts:

These cashews are deliciously different.  I really like them, and trying them makes me curious to try Oren’s Kitchen’s other offerings … Coconut Chili Macadamia Nuts?  Those are a definite must try!