Teatime Tuesday #1: Rooibos Chai Herbal Tea

Welcome to Teatime Tuesday, a new section of this site where I will review tea, show off my coloring projects, talking about Life, the Universe, and Everything… but mostly gush about tea.

I was so excited for this new little project that with my holiday Amazon money from my Dad I finally got myself an electric tea kettle! And not just any electric tea kettle, but one of those schmancy ones with a temperature toggle on it so you can boil the water at different settings for different kinds of tea! It just arrived today and you can’t believe how excited I am to try it out! I got a Chefman Electric Kettle, and if you are curious, you can view the exact one I bought from Amazon here.

Here is the little beauty making his first pot of tea…

Hmm, I wonder what I should name him? (Because yes, naming inanimate objects is a thing I do.) Perhaps “Bork” after the Swedish Chef, since it’s a Chefman. …It makes sense in my twisted head, at least.

For my first teatime, I decided to go with an old favorite… mainly because I only had enough left for one more cup and I need to clean some space out of my kitchen for a shipment of new tea samples I recently purchased (oh em gee, $50 worth of tea samplers!), and also because my friend requested it.

This tea is Rooibos Chai Herbal Tea that came from The Spice and Tea Exchange, which is the first looseleaf tea shop I’ve ever been to (there actually aren’t any in my local town!) I ran into this particular one in Port Townsend, Washington, a gorgeous little port town, when I was on vacation last Labor Day Weekend to visit my Dad and Stepmom, who live in the area, up in Kingston, Washington (it was a great trip… we rode the ferry over to Seattle three times that weekend to watch the Mariners, and they won two of the three games!) Since then, I’ve also been to this particular chain one other time, on the pier in San Francisco!

I actually decided to pick this one up when I was in that shop because when I was reading Chapter 3 of The Chains of Lyra, a sci-fi Sims 4 story by InfraGreen/Trip, there was discussion in that chapter of several types of tea, and I had never heard of “rooibos;” Trip and CathyTea were quick to school me in the comments, and it sounded fantastic! I knew then if I ever ran into it I had to try it, and this was the first variety I ran across, and liking other chai teas, I picked it up. It is described by the vendor as “the best aspects of rooibos and all the flavors of chai tea are blended together to make a refreshing brew with an exceptionally strong and sweet flavor.” It contains: organic red rooibos, organic cinnamon, organic ginger root, organic cardamom, organic ramon nut, organic star anise, organic licorice root, organic fennel seed, organic black pepper, organic cloves, and organic peppermint, and is caffeine-free.

Having now sampled quite a bit of rooibos, you won’t really taste it at all in this particular tea blend. You can tell it is in there, because when it starts to steep, you’ll see that traditional red color:

But, once it has finished steeping for the recommended five minutes, it will have darkened considerably, looking more like a black tea!

Also, it doesn’t really taste like most chai I’ve had either, which is typically pretty sweet and really cinnamony; this has a very unique taste that is hard to describe, but that I absolutely love (hense why I had so little of this tea left)! It tastes very husky, and I most strongly make out the ginger, licorice, and clove accents (if you are one of those people that hates licorice, then this definitely isn’t a tea for you… you’d definitely notice it!) It’s a very spicy, full tea, and I haven’t really found anything comparable to it yet.

It’s definitely not a very cost-effective tea… a small bag is only 1 ounce and costs $5.89, and if you want the largest bag, which is 4 ounces, it’s $22.39. Unfortunately The Spice and Tea Exchange has some of the most expensive teas I’ve found… but it’s really good. I’d definitely recommend at least trying out the one ounce sample bag if it sounds like something you might like. The worst that can happen is you’ll end up like me, go through that one ounce bag really quickly, and then have to try to convince yourself that spending over $20 on a single bag of tea can’t really be too much if you love it that much…

The one nice thing about it, which does help make it slightly more cost effective, is that the flavor of this tea is so strong that it re-steeps fairly well. I usually get a good three cups of tea out of a single infusion. I absolutely live for the Apace Living Loose Leaf Stainless Steel Strainer as my infuser of choice; they come in a set of two, I have never once had a single floater in my cup using these things, and it is so easy to just pull them up out of the cup, set them on the little included drip coaster, and then reuse the same infusion of leaves again. It also comes with a handy spoon for filling the infusers with dry leaves, and I also find that spoon is the perfect size for my sugar serving (I like two spoonfuls!) I really can’t talk them up enough.

And my adorable mug? It features Mo Willem’s Pigeon from the popular children books. The library where I work held an election a few months ago in Youth Services between Pigeon and Fancy Nancy and let the kids vote, and being a huge fan of the Pigeon books, I was one of his biggest supporters (and one of the only members on staff supporting Pigeon). However, the kids spoke, and Pigeon won, and he is now president of the library! At our staff Holiday Party, we had a White Elephant gift game where each department had to create a gift that represented their department, and that mug was part of Youth Service’s gift. It has Pigeon on one side, and the other side says “President Pigeon approves this beverage.” I absolutely loved it, and knew if I got drawn, I was going to steal it since the game allowed that! I was the only person in the game to get drawn and steal a gift from someone! (I’m so House Slytherin, aren’t I?) But… I have the swankest mug around, don’t I?

#2

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About Mastress Alita

I'm a fulltime librarian, a chronic migraineur, a tea addict, and an avid Simmer that writes SimLit and maintains the Stories and Legacies Index, a link directory of SimLit on Wordpress. Though I obviously love cats, I actually don't own one! (Blame my apartment lease for that!) I do have a charming old cockatiel, Kali, that has been my companion for the last seventeen years!
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21 Responses to Teatime Tuesday #1: Rooibos Chai Herbal Tea

  1. notjustabook says:

    What a wonderful little post :D I’m a tea drinker myself. I also collect tea infusers, so that is just yet another tea infuser I HAVE to own! Looking forward to reading more about your various tea adventures.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Gnasling! I wasn’t sure if this is something I should even add to a Sims blog, but enough people seemed interested in my tea addiction hobby. ^_~ It is a great little infuser! My new kettle came with one built-in but I’m not sure I trust it which is why I pulled it out and am still using these guys!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Cody Thoroman says:

    You know how there’s a coffee maker called Mr. Coffee? I think you should call your electric kettle Mr. Tea. As in ” I pity da foo who don’t know to stop seeping before the tea gets bitter” :D

    Liked by 4 people

  3. cathytea says:

    Lovely mug, delicious tea! I picked up an assortment of bulk spices at the co-op other day , and most of what you listed in included ! I’ve been mixing them with green tea , but today I think I’ll try rooibos ! So happy about this new section of your blog !

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t found any places around here to pick up dry bulk herbs or spices either to make original tea (I found a really awesome book on herbal teas at the library but it was all recipes on how to make your own and I had no way to get the ingredients in my area, so I just used the reference guide in the back to learn more about the herbs). So please let me know how it goes! That would probably be an awesome way to get around the high cost of buying the pre-blended stuff straight from the Spice and Tea Exchange! Great idea!

      Liked by 2 people

      • cathytea says:

        I’ve got it steeping now! We add the juice of two limes from our lime tree, too. If there’s a health food store near you, they might have a bulk herb/spice section! Or a food co-op…

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Todd Allis says:

    *sips houjicha*
    Great post! I like my samovar, but Mr. Tea is much fancier, with the temperature settings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m excited to try out the different temperature settings, especially for green and white tea which it recommends to boil at a lower temperature! I’ll have to bring this along to Anime Oasis and see if you like your Houjicha even more with the water boiled on the Green Tea setting!

      Like

  5. ThuggishSplicer says:

    That mug is really cute! I often drink green tea with milk in the morning. I do enjoy a good tea. but since it’s summer, I’ve been drinking more juices and eating fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never tried milk in my tea, but am considering getting some almond milk and trying it, especially for black teas which tend to be a little harsh for me (and I do often like iced tea drinks with milk in them). It’s the dead of winter here (a nasty snowstorm just came through which has given me a migraine from the barometric pressure change) but I find I still enjoy my tea even during the summer (maybe I’m just strange?) Admittedly, I’m awful at trying to make iced tea… my new kettle came with some instructions on how to do it so maybe I’ll try to learn how as part of this teatime journey.

      Like

      • ThuggishSplicer says:

        Took some time to answer, but it’s better late than never. So, I live in Brazil, so it’s never winter here. I avoid hot drinks on hot days, but nothing beats green tea with milk in the morning. I’ve got lots of dried mate here and I’ve been drinking it cold. It’s really refreshing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Senna says:

    Aww, now I want that mug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woo, a fellow Pigeon fan!

      Funny enough, my supervisor at the library had already bought me a Pigeon mug for Christmas before I won that one, so I actually have two now, both received this Christmas! (My second one stays at work and serves my library tea fix). It is this one from Demco, where we order our library supplies.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. socallucyfan says:

    I am an avid tea drinker, so this post is right up my alley. However, I don’t like licorice so I might not try this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a big fan of licorice myself (I’ll buy half pound bags of Jelly Belly licorice jellybeans just for me because no one else I know likes them!), and I would say that the licorice taste is pretty noticable (in my opinion) in this particular blend. I’ve had other teas that contain licorice root where I don’t even notice it. I’ve actually found a very similar blend to this that is lacking the licorice root and is a much better price from an Etsy seller that I enjoy, AmberFreda, and once it arrives I plan to do a comparison in a future Teatime Tuesday. Since it has a very similar herbal blend but doesn’t have the licorice root, that may be more to your tastes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • socallucyfan says:

        I may have to give it a try. Republic of Tea also makes a pretty good dark chai tea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have them in my bookmarks so I’ll have to try it out! Recommends are definitely welcome! (And I’m hoping to eventually do tea exchanges, if any readers are interested/willing in sharing/swapping teas through snail-mail). Right now I’m waiting on a bunch of samplers to arrive from the Art of Tea and I’m pretty excited about that!

        Liked by 1 person

      • socallucyfan says:

        I am on a budget of all budgets, but RoT can be found in most grocery stores. I usually get mine from Central Market.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have not seen that particular brand in the grocery stores around here. Things are pretty bleak out here in podunk Idaho. We have no looseleaf tea shops in my local town and not even very good bagged brands in the stores. It’s a pretty sorry state which is why I have to do most of my tea shopping online. T_T

        Liked by 1 person

  8. lisabeesims says:

    Sounds delightful. I have a lovely tea shop in Olympia that I visit for looseleaf tea and I shall have to look for that one

    Liked by 1 person

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