Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday Tea Time - Vanilla Chai!

Another two-fer today -- Zhena's Gypsy Tea Vanilla Chai and Twinings French Vanilla Chai

I LOVE my Williams-Sonoma snowflake glass mugs!

I found them at their outlet store in San Marcos, TX - $6.50 each
Worth the splurge -- Everything looks pretty and tastes great in them!
Cost:  Zhena's - $6.99 at Cost Plus World Market,
Twinings - $3.99 at Central Market
Number of teabags:  Zhena's - 22
Twinings - 20
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:   Black
Steeping time:  5 minutes
Add ins:  Just a splash of Coffee Mate's Natural Bliss Sweet Cream.
Tea fragrance:  Zhena's - Cinnamon, ginger and sweet
Twinings - Cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom
Ingredients:  Zhena's - Assam black tea, cinnamon, licorice (!), natural cream flavor (!!), clove, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, vanilla bean.
Twinings - Black tea, natural chai, cinnamon & ginger flavors with other natural flavors, artificial vanilla flavor, cardamom, clove, vanilla pod powder
Opinion:  Zhena's - While this one has lots of interesting and organic  ingredients, the licorice and cream flavor, I found the taste a bit weaker and not a lot of vanilla kick I was expecting. Next go round, I doubled up and used two teabags.  Much better.  Oddly, the brewed color was also more amber and deeper, with just the one teabag.
Twinings - Despite the addition of cinnamon and ginger "flavors" and artificial vanilla flavor, this one eeked ahead of the Zhena's taste wise.  Perhaps the combo of the artificial vanilla flavor with the vanilla pod powder made the vanilla more detectable and "French"?
Rating:  Zhena's - 3 (dinged only because of having to go through the canister twice as fast.
Twinings - 3.75

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