I have always hated tea. I don't do coffee, and most of the other hot drinks are just too fussy for me. I like water and some sodapop, but that's it. Even lemonade is a rare addition to my drink list. Water and pop get the job done.
Last weekend, The Man and I were near Bridgeport Village in Tigard, Oregon. We took a wrong turn and discovered the Stash Tea store. Being so close and wanting to try something new, we stopped and paid a visit to the store.
We both quickly found the section for tea already in teabags and agreed that while loose tea probably tastes better and is probably more authentic, we are both lazy and gladly trade the convenience of tea bags for the supposed benefits of loose tea. Hardcore tea snobs may scoff at us, but we aren't hurting anyone, so just shove off, mkay?
The Man picked up a box of chocolate mint oolong tea and a box of goji berry herbal tea. I scored a box of vanilla chai and, somewhat at a loss for what else to get, grabbed a box of the Spice Dragon Red Chai. If I am going to learn to drink tea, chai is my gateway. I love spices and warm, soothing flavors, but I can't stand herbal crap or too tea-like flavors. Basically I like chai tea without the tea.
The chocolate mint oolong is okay with a chocolate beginning, mint finish, and bitter aftertaste. I haven't tried the berry tea yet. The vanilla chai is very, very good. It is sweet and smooth, and with the addition of a packet of stevia sweetener and a dollop of milk, it becomes an absolute delight as a low-cal dessert substitute.
The clear winner of the day is the Spice Dragon Red Chai. The Man and I are both totally in love with it. Adding sugar and cream turn a fantastic cup of plain tea into a cosmic experience. Hands down, that is the best chai tea I've ever had. It isn't too strong on any one particular flavor, but it is a much stronger overall spice flavor than any other chai tea. Delicious! We are now stocking up in case Stash Tea ever discontinues this line.
I still maintain my dislike for tea as a group, but I will proudly declare my love for the dragon red chai any day.