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Tag Archives: Chai

Tea: Coco Chai Rooibos

I’m going to take a brief pause in sharing my photos from my summer trip to Finland, and the meals and treats my companion and I enjoyed while abroad, to bring you a few posts about teas you might like to try as the weather becomes cooler this fall.

Coco Chai Rooibos

Coco Chai Rooibos

Coco Chai Rooibos

Coco Chai Rooibos is a caffiene-free spice-based chai which features cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and pink peppercorns. The “coco” part of this tea isn’t chocolate (cocoa) but instead coconut, and the tea also has artificial and natural flavouring. This is another tea from David’s Tea, and they recommend it ‘straight up’ or made in the traditional chai style infused in hot milk for a delicious chai latte.

Coco Chai Rooibos

Coco Chai Rooibos

I made it up in my Teavana Perfect Tea Maker, and it steeped up strong and spicy, with just a hint of the nutty flavour offered by the coconut. The peppery taste was also pretty dominant in the scent and flavour of this tea – I mellowed it out with warm milk, though I’ll definitely try the warm milk infusion when I get the chance!

Have you tried this tea? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below, or join us on Facebook and share your thoughts and photos with our other readers!

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in South-East Calgary

 

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Heading back to the Village

Village Ice Cream menu

Village Ice Cream menu

Not long ago, I went back to Village Ice Cream, which I already shared with you a few months back.

As you can see from the menu, the seasonal items were different from last time. I gave the black sesame a taste (ok, but nothing special) while my friend gave the toasted coconut, a regular flavour a taste. After our free tastes, we decided to go with cardamom (one of the ingredients in chai tea) for me, and salted caramel for her.

I had read that the salted caramel could taste “burnt”, but I had a lick,and it was actually just perfect… so delicious! If I were a fan of caramel, I’d go for this on another visit for sure! My companion loved her cone (yep, that’s her in the photo below holding both of our cones) but did say that one scoop was perfect – she was getting a bit tired of the flavour near the end, and two scoops would have just been too much.

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Posted by on September 22, 2013 in South-East Calgary, Treats

 

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Village Ice Cream

Last summer at Voices in the Village I first heard of Village Ice Cream but I didn’t get around to visiting until this year – this is the problem with not being downtown nearly as much as I used to!

Finding Village Ice Cream is not especially easy, because it’s at the end of a dead-end road, and then tucked into the side of a building rather than having a street-front entrance.  There is a decent sized parking lot, though I bet when they get busy, it gets full fast. When I went there was a short line that the staff had moving fairly efficiently, and their very small ‘patio’ was full with families sitting on the available benches.

Village Ice Cream

Village Ice Cream

There really isn’t a super-close place to go to enjoy your ice cream unfortunately – Olympic Plaza is probably the closest park, and you’ll probably be half-done by the time you get there.

There are a number of traditional flavours like vanilla, chocolate, maple pecan, coconut, and strawberry, a few ‘branded’ flavours like coffee – which they’ve branded after Phil & Sebastian (a coffee shop), chocolate mint – which is branded as “Guide’s Mint” – alluding to girl guides I presume (which is odd, because girl guide cookies are chocolate and vanilla…)  They also have a few more unique flavours such as cardamom, huckleberry, and salted caramel.

The shop has ten flavours that they keep “in the dipping cabinet and in the pint freezer” at all times, and then a rotating variety along with one sorbet for those who want to be dairy-free.  When I was there the seasonal specials included Root Beer (which apparently tastes just like a root beer float), Mango, Oaxacan Chile Chocolate (a Vegan option made with coconut milk) and Hibiscus Juniper Sorbet.

Village Ice Cream

Village Ice Cream menu

I started off with a sample of cardamom.  I didn’t know what to expect, but it was fantastic! The clerk filled me in that cardamom is a spice from India, used heavily in Chai. I loved it, and toyed with the idea of getting a scoop of it to go, but instead I went with my first choice, the Hibiscus Juniper Sorbet.

Sorbet from Village Ice Cream

Sorbet from Village Ice Cream

I think that I probably missed out on something by going with the sorbet instead of the creamy goodness of ice cream, but it was still quite good. It reminded me of a vaguely floral/herbal strawberry sorbet, although not exceptionally strong tasting.  I was also toying with the salted caramel, but have read online in reviews that it can go from good, to tasting ‘burnt’ and I definitely didn’t want that…

Have you tried out Village Ice Cream yet? What is your favourite flavour? Let us know in the comments below!

Village Ice Cream
Located in Victoria Park
431 10 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 261-7950
Village Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Want a sneak peek of some of their other flavours? Read this post from the Silk Road Spice Merchant – I didn’t know that it was their spices that go into a lot of the flavours!

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Downtown Calgary, South-East Calgary, Treats

 

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Tea: Sweet Orange Spice

I don’t usually buy bagged teas for myself anymore (unless I’ve tried it elsewhere and loved it) but I am always thrilled to try something new that is a gift!
I was given some bagged teas as a gift, by Tea forte, and one of the teas included in the set was a spiced black tea, Sweet Orange Spice.

The most important part is the taste of course – I had the tea as a morning tea with sweetener and skim milk, and it was definitely sweet (although I didn’t use a lot of sweetener) and spicy in the way that chai tea is spicy. I didn’t taste any orange though, which was a bit disappointing, but it still tasted good, and I could smell a tiny bit of citrus fragrance. As far as bagged teas go, it had lots of flavour on the first infusion. (Since I had just dumped out a weak bagged tea at work that didn’t have any flavour at all, this was a very good thing…)

Forte tea

Forte tea

The second infusion had considerably less flavour (which isn’t unusual for a bagged tea) but still had a bit of a sweet taste with a mild spicy tang. I would say that the spice overpowered the spice a little bit – but really the whole thing had very little flavour. If I hadn’t been so lazy (and crazy-busy!) I would have gone and made a fresh cup instead of drinking the weak tea.

Less important than taste, but what makes this a cute tea for a gift or for entertaining is the packaging. It’s not just a plain boxed bagged tea – instead each of the tea bags is individually packaged in a little tall, skinny paper pyramid. Topping off the pyramid is a wired paper ‘tea leaf’ – super cute! Inside the bag is a mesh fabric (rather than paper) tea bag pyramid with LOTS of room for the tea to expand as it steeps. The tea inside is fairly large pieces of tea leaf – rather than just the tiny flecks of tea dust (fannings) often found in bagged tea. The individual tea bags are not labelled though – so if you did have multiple flavours all steeping away in individual cups, it would be tough to know which flavour was which.

Comparing the wet and dry forte tea bags - look at the expansion!

Comparing the wet and dry forte tea bags – look at the expansion!

Tea Forte describes this tea as “an enticing rich black tea with the sweet, exotic taste of mandarin oranges, accented with zingy notes of cinnamon.” http://www.teaforte.com/store/gourmet-tea/black-tea/sweet-orange-spice/ The ingredients are Chinese black tea, Indonesian cinnamon, orange peels (from Spain), and cloves. Really, I’d say that after the flavour of the tea itself, the cloves are the most dominant taste, and the oranges the least.

If you like a mild change from a warm cup of chai tea, this one might make a great alternative – but if you are looking for a juicy, fruity tea – this isn’t for you.

Have you tried any other teas from Tea Forte? Which ones are worth checking out? Let us know in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Spiced Chocolate Chai

Spiced chocolate chai

I love chocolate, and I have loved a number of chocolate-flavoured teas (most of all White Chocolate Mousse from the Banff Tea Co.) so I was exited to try a bunch of the new (at least to me!) chocolate teas from Teaopia.  One of these is Spiced Chocolate Chai.  I love chocolate, and I love chai, so it’s all good!

The Teaopia website describes Spiced Chocolate Chai as:

The spicy flavours of classic Chai have been perfectly combined with chocolate to create a decadent, delicious and healthy Rooibos blend. Includes Organic Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, pineapple, cardamom, cloves, white chocolate chips, goji berries, and anise seeds.

Sounds delicious, right?
Dry, the tea doesn’t really smell like much, so if you’ve been into the shop and it didn’t appeal to you, consider picking up just a little 50 grams or a to-go glass instead. (If you think you’d like it anyways that is!) Once made up, the tea is a little surprizing. I suppose I was really expecting more of a chocolate flavour. Honestly looking at the dry tea, I couldn’t find a single chocolate chip.

Spiced chocolate chai

Since I had it without milk, and just my regular sweetener, it lacked the creaminess that I normally associate with chai blends (since I always have them with milk…) The spiciness is a bit more spicy that most chai blends that I am used to too – or at least the way I remember them tasting.  (No taste comparison going on tonight!)  The chocolate flavour is also very subtle and not immediate at all. It does come through a little bit, but it’s not the luxurious dessert-like experience I’d been hoping for.  I can’t say that I can pick out any one ingredient especially though. You know how when you’re drinking a tea and you’re like “oooh, there’s the clove” or any other single ingredient?  This one is very well blended so it’s pleasant, and spicy, but no one flavour seems to really jump out.

I’d say that if you’re a spicy chai fan, you might very much like this interpretation – but if you are looking for a soothing chocolate, this isn’t the best tea.  Perhaps I’ll try it with milk in future.

That being said, even after four infusions it still had a lot of kick, so you get your money’s worth with this one if you do like it!

 
 

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Tea: Redbush Chai

A while back a friend was heading into Banff, and since I knew I couldn’t make it there as early as I would like to – I asked her to pick up a few of my favorite teas, along with a few for a gift.  While I asked for Rooibos Massala Chai, she instead brought me back Redbush Chai.  (Which I think is listed on the Banff Tea Company website as Rooibos Chai.)

Banff Tea Co's Redbush Chai

The website lists the ingredients as: “Rooibos, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns, citrus peel, ginger bits, star anis, cloves” making this a nice and spicy, warm tea.  The spiciness is not too strong though – and served with milk and sugar (as I usually have chai) I find it mellow and warming.  Because it’s a red tea, there is no caffeine, so it’s a great evening tea.  The previous Rooibos Massala Chai I nicknamed my “sweet dreams tea” since it seemed that most of the time when I drank it shortly before bed, I’d end up having interesting and enjoyable dreams.  (Must be all of those spices!)

Redbush Chai with milk and a bit of sweetener

There are lots of other Rooibos Chais out there, but this one is very mellow – more mellow than a few others that I’ve tried – so I bet that if you are new to Chai – that this might be a nice, gentle introduction.  Because it’s so mellow, it also makes it all the nicer as an evening tea, or to go with other flavors (for your meal perhaps).

Just as a clarification – mellow doesn’t mean lacking flavor… the tea is very flavorful, but it’s not ‘spicy’ the way many chais are.

As with most of the teas I drink, I found that this one was nice straight (without anything added) but I like it even better prepared as I usually have chai – with milk and a bit of sugar.  There’s something about chai that just really begs me to use white sugar instead of sweetener too.

Redbush Chai Iced

Since the tea is nicely potent, I steeped up more of it that was left over from my hot tea, poured it into a pitcher and put it in the fridge over night.  With a touch of sugar or without, it’s lovely iced… and maintains the mellow flavor.

Banff Tea Co. on Urbanspoon

 
 

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Tea: Herbal Chai

Silk Road's Herbal Chai tea

Doesn’t this herbal chai from Silk Road look fantastic?  Yes, I know, I know.. ANOTHER Silk Road tea – wonderful for me, not so good for anyone who isn’t planning a trip to Victoria…  but, I’m sure there are other local sources of something that looks, smells, and tastes as good as this one.

This tea is described as “a zippy, sweetly spicy & warming infusion” and contains ginger root, cinnamon bark, anise seed, cardamom, and allspice.  The tea looks gorgeous – full of big chunks of lovely things, and it smells spicy and wonderful, with a slight medicinal scent which caught me a bit off guard.

Silk Road's Herbal Chai tea

Brewed, the tea is very pale in colour, almost to the point of wanting to add more tea – but don’t – it’s just fine with the regular amount of tea!  I ‘dressed’ it with white sugar (I always use white sugar in chai.. I don’t know why…) and 2% milk.  YUM!  This is like the tea version of cinnamon hot chocolate.  It’s warming, soothing, and has just a generous zing to it to remind you that it’s a chai!

Herbal Chai with sugar and milk

The Silk Road website has a recipe for Chai Chocolate Truffles, and in their blog there’s a recipe for Chai French Toast featuring Chai tea syrup.  (Pst.. Yes, I know saying “Chai tea” is redundant… I’m just telling you what they call it.. 😉 )

Want another recipe using Herbal Chai?  How about one for a chai-spiced apple cider for the chilly months from Vancouver blogger The Bounty Hunter?

Do you have a favorite chai blend?  Share it in the comments below!

Silk Road on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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