The Good: Great taste, Aroma, Everything in it is good
The Bad: Doesn't taste vanilla at all? (None, honestly)
The Basics: A near-perfect tea, Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is flavorful and the solution to anyone who suffers through boring teas!
After returning from my yearly sojourn to Celestial Seasonings, a few years back, I prepared to review a whole ton of new-to-me teas. There are very few, in fact, that I buy more than once because I have been so eager to review them all. It was with some excitement that I sat down with my new box of Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai. The name might be a mouthful, but wow! I picked well with this one (it was the fourth new tea I selected while at the factory). It remains one of the few I have bought each time I’ve been back to the factory since!
In considering this tea, I was instantly reminded of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea, which I liked very much. However, Bengal Spice has a black mark against it; it is decaffeinated. Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai, which smells as spicy and tastes as forceful as Bengal Spice does not come with that same limitation. Mildly caffeinated and totally delicious, I've decided to forgive the one thing this tea has working against it (a lack of vanilla taste) and give this the highest rating.
Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is a 100% Natural Green Tea from Celestial Seasonings. It comes in the standard Celestial Seasonings box that features twenty tea bags, paired up and connected with weak perforations that allow for easy separation of tea bags. The stringless tea bags are kept inside a wax paper bag that easily refolds to keep the tea bags protected from humidity that might otherwise ruin the product.
The tea bags are combined with hot water and brewed into a drink that is both delicious and remarkably trendy at this time. Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is a sweet and strong tea for those who want something more powerful and better tasting than plain black tea. Unlike many green teas, this one does not have a lack of flavor. Indeed, this is the perfect solution to green tea boredom.
Ease of Preparation
As with any tea, preparing Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is fairly easy. After purchasing the tea (they frown upon one just taking it off the shelf and taking off with it!) and bringing it home, take the tea bags out of the box, put it or them into a vessel and pour boiling water in. I use a 32 oz. steeping pot and I use two tea bags per brewing. The standard 8 oz. coffee mug that some use is never enough for me; besides, making Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai by the pot allows one to have many cups!
Preparation is easy; simply boil water and pour it over the tea bags which are in your steeping pot or mug. Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai requires boiling water, which is different from most green teas, and the steeping time of four to six minutes is a fairly accurate time, as recommended by the manufacturer. At four minutes, it is surprisingly strong enough. Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is also one of the ideal teas for the thrifty individual as reusing the tea bags nets a fairly good pot or mug of tea. A second brewing using boiling water and the six minute brewing time yields a pot or mug that is about 3/4 strong as the original brewing, which is impressive and rather decent for a heady, flavorful tea like Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai.
Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is a great tea for those looking for a flavor that comes from aroma. While brewing, Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai fills up a room with the strong scents of ginger and cloves. The scent effervesces through a room wonderfully and it opens up the consumer to the taste they are soon to enjoy.
Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai nails it on the head with the ginger. This tea is weakly vanilla (see below), but has a very strong tea taste. The aroma and taste also has a strong flavor of cloves and ginger, just as it smells like it would. Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai kicks some serious taste buds with the spiced flavor. Naturally sweet, the tea is a strong, flavorful mix of the tastes and scents of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. These tend to drown out the vanilla flavor on its own.
Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is one of those flavors of tea that is difficult to explain, but delicious to the taste buds. It is a tasty and rich tea and with all of the spices that are traditionally dry like black pepper, cloves and nutmeg, it's surprising how naturally sweet the flavor of Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is without being dominated by a sugary taste - which the tea is not. Anyone who is sick of bland tea will love Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai. It truly is delicious, even if it is hard to describe, though the sharp ginger flavor is definitely one of the dominant flavors and not cut by the overall tea taste.
In the preparation for the tea, they recommend adding a little milk to make the tea taste like a chai tea drink and with the addition of even a little milk, Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai tastes exactly like a tea house chai drink! Those who are into the trendy chai drinks without wanting to seem pretentious or a slave to fashion Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai offers a great way out! Actually, the vanilla flavor comes out wonderfully with the addition of milk. The tea develops a more creamy taste, cutting some of the ginger's roughness. With a little milk, the vanilla comes forth.
Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is also delicious cold or iced. In its cooler forms, the drier cinnamon flavor comes out with a little more kick from the pepper. The sweetness fades a little and honestly it has only been when the tea is cool that I've added sugar. Without sugar, the black tea flavor comes out a little more overwhelmingly.
Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is tea, so while it is flavorful, it is pretty low in any nutritional content or detriment. Those looking for something without fat, calories, sodium, carbohydrates or protein will find Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai a great way to get none of those things! In addition, this all-natural herb tea has caffeine, but is gluten free. Yes, outside flavor, there is nothing in this tea except what one adds from sugar (not truly necessary) or milk. According to their website (the box does not have the caffeine meter), Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai has 20 mg of caffeine, which puts it just under a chocolate bar, which has 25. Given that the scent is so ginger based, it's hard to imagine this not waking someone up!
It is a little surprise that the primary scent and taste from Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is ginger, as the primary ingredients are green tea, black tea and cinnamon, all before ginger. There is nothing unpronouncable or suspect in Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai, justifying its place as a 100% natural tea.
Storage of the tea bags is simple with Celestial Seasonings' wax paper bag that can be folded to keep out humidity and as long as the tea is stored in a cool dry place, it's hard to believe that it would not stay good after its expiration date (which is two years away when the tea is bought fresh!).
Cleanup is easy as well. Simply toss out the used tea bags into the garbage or compost pile. It's that simple. Vessels that hold the tea rinse out easily and ought to leave no resin or anything else that mars the ceramic mug or steeping pot. Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is a fairly dark tea, though, and if it spills, it will stain light fabrics. Cleaning up immediately lessens the chances of stains, but it is still a dark tea and it's difficult to catch it if it gets on something dark. Light fabrics, though . . .
Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai is a great dessert tea and it is a wonderful breakfast tea as well, despite having only a little caffeine in it! As it is, it is pleasant and an easy "recommend" for anyone who likes tea and even those who just like spiced drinks. It is a pleasant drink and sure to satisfy from the moment it begins brewing to the final sip.
For other Celestial Seasonings teas I've reviewed, please check out my reviews of:
Saphara Tropical Rooibos
Saphara Mango Ginger Green
For other beverage reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing!
© 2010, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.