Tea of the Week for March 26, 2018: Pear Chai (Green Tea)!
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Tea Description: Yeah, it's getting out of what I think of as "Chai Season" but when I blended this, we here the Pacific Northwest were experiencing freezing temperatures and were even expecting snow (which did arrive in the last half of February). So, I was in this weird kind of 'mood' - blending teas that reminded me of spring while still quite enjoying the spicier 'cold weather' flavors. At about that same time when I was in that mood, our local produce market had some beautiful pears for sale and it called to me to craft a pear tea.
So I brought together these ideas: early spring but still experiencing winter's chill and one of my favorite fruits - pears - in this one tea: Pear Chai!
I started with an organic green tea blend of Chinese Gunpowder and Chun Mee (When I think of 'spring' I think green tea!) and added pears and some warm and lovely spices: Cinnamon, Allspice, Ginger and Cardamom. Not necessarily the most "traditional" blend of chai spices, but I think that they work nicely with the softer pear flavors.
organic ingredients: green teas, pears, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom & natural flavors
This is really quite lovely!
I didn't go too heavily on the spices because I didn't want to overpower the pear (which is pretty easy to do when it comes to pears). The flavor is sweet, lightly fruity and pleasantly warm without being too spicy. This is definitely on the delicate side when it comes to chai - not only for the pear but also for the green tea. It's a nice balance of smooth green tea, sweet pear and warm spice.
The sip immediately introduces the palate to a lovely pear note with a soft note of green tea that tends to develop toward mid-sip. The spices are in the background with a warmth that gently builds on the palate. The spice here reminds me more of a spice medley you might find in a spiced pear cake rather than the typical cup of Chai. And that's intentional because, as I mentioned above, I didn't want the spices to overpower the pear notes. The finish is smooth from the green tea with just a hint of pear and I notice the flavor of the spices being their strongest in the aftertaste.
I really like this one!
to brew: you want to use a little more leaf than you normally would with this one because there are quite a few spices in this so you want to make sure you get enough tea in your measurement. I recommend somewhere between 4 - 5 grams of tea (I used 4.5g) to 12 ounces of hot water heated to 170°F. steep for 2 1/2 minutes. I recommend a slightly cooler brew temperature with a slightly longer steep time on this tea to ensure that you get more flavor from the spices without creating a bitter taste. I find these parameters to work out perfectly for my personal taste - and suggest these at a starting point, and then adjust from there.