Review: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai

Black Pepper Tea, Black Tea, Ceylon Tea, Chai Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Clove Tea, Coconut Tea, Pepper Tea, Spiced Tea, Zhenas Gypsy Tea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Nice, toasty and very natural coconut flavor with a neat interplay taking place between the many other spices, particularly the pepper, in this chai blend. "
Jamie’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Lea gave it 8/10, Barbara gave it 8.5/10, Tiffany gave it 6/10, Erika gave it 6/10, Christine gave it 7.5/10, Emma gave it 9/10, Laura gave it 5.5/10, Dan gave it 8/10
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gypsytea-coconut-chai.jpgThis is one of the first bagged teas that I have sampled and set out to review here at Teaviews. I don't particularly take issue with tea bags, though I know they can raise some people's hackles. I just usually drink loose teas as I enjoy the look and feel and smell of the leaf free of the bag. So it was a full on "holy high tech tea bag, Batman!!" sort of experience when I extracted the Coconut Chai sample bag from Zhena's Gypsy Tea. The tea "sachet" (pardon my usual use of the word bag, s'il vous plait) is triangular and described by Zhena's as being a "couture" tea bag. I would think that was taking things a little far, but the company then goes on to mention that it's a "hot" couture tea bag which gave me a giggle and shows their sense of humor. Pretty good so far.

Now, more about this hot couture tea sachet. The thing is really cool, actually! My usual disappointment with bagged teas is that you generally can't see the tea inside and usually you are dealing with tea leaves that have been specially cut or crushed to suit their purpose as a bagged tea. Not so with this tea bag. Inside the little bag is about a teaspoon of gorgeous loose tea! "Finest quality Ceylon blended with cardamom, ginger and clove" among other things...the list of ingredients is long, and the tea is attractive and chock full of goodies. It has a wondrous fragrance, spicy with just a hint of coconut at the rear.

Fine spicy scent and a good looking tea not to mention that way cool bag! Off to a good start, how fun!!

I steeped five minutes with just off a boil water, as per directions. The coconut scenting, sort of mild in the dry form, is coming to life with the addition of hot water. I added three drops of stevia to my tea, though the tea is actually quite enjoyable without any sweetener at all. The sweetener, to my tastes, draws out a bit more of the spicy nature of the chai. It's a bit peppery, and the clove is rather balanced, which to me is a plus, as I'm rather antagonized by cloves. The coconut is surprisingly mild, but has a slight presence and a bit of a macaroon tasting presence, which is delightful. I decide to let the tea cool slightly before sipping again, to see how the tastes change.

The coconut flavor does indeed develop when allowed to cool a bit. The tea is still quite warm but not hot when I get the best coconut flavor. Nice, toasty and very natural flavor with a neat play taking place between the many other spices, particularly the pepper. The clove develops a bit more as well, and it and the coconut leave a very slightly oily residue in the mouth after drinking that is not unpleasant.

This tea would be a great for when you are on the road and can't brew a loose tea properly due to concern about steep times, temperatures, etc in particular. I'm impressed with the high tech bag, I really am. I love the packaging. I tossed mine straight into the compost jar when I was done, not even needing to rinse a filter (which as we know is terribly taxing). Convenience and virtue touch hands and kiss. Lovely!

A few final notes...I brewed a second cup with the bag before doing so, steeping for a long time and drinking it cold when done and that was a pretty good cup too. I would definitely recommend this tea hot or iced. I think some soymilk or creamer of your choice would be a fine addition. The chai is spicy but not overwhelming and I think the coconut in there sort moderates the spice a bit. That might not be to some chai drinkers liking, but then again, it might be. I will note that I didn't find the coconut to be super powerful. It was present and pleasant. Totally natural tasting, to boot. I was expecting a bit more from it, the blend being a Coconut Chai. If you are aiming for a high powered coconut punch, you might sample a few others along with this one. I highly recommend trying this tea, though, especially if you haven't yet encountered a hot couture tea bag yet. It's great stuff, scent to sachet!

— To purchase Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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