Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur

Hey readers,

This weeks review will be a little different from my usual reviews, in
that I am not reviewing an actual tea, or a tea gadget, or even a tea
company. Instead, this will be about a product that makes a brilliant
usage of tea in a unique and interesting way. The product is called
Voyant Chai.

Recently, I made contact with Voyant, because I found their product
interesting, and asked them if they would allow me to review their
product. Those of you that are followers of this blog will not that
it is a rare thing for me to approach a tea company - usually,
companies contact me, asking for a review. Sometimes, however, I find
a product so and interesting, that I just cannot help myself, and find
myself making the first move. This is the case with Voyant.

First, allow me to explain what Voyant actually is. Voyant Chai is a
blended alcoholic beverage, which is designed to exemplify the best
characteristics of a good Chai, while at the same time serving as a
refreshing, creamy and delicious treat for those of us that appreciate
fine spirits. And I believe it serves this purpose very well. In
this review, I will discuss just how well it exemplifies the best
properties of Chai, and will subject it to my full scrutiny as a
reviewer of teas.

But before I comment on the actual beverage experience, I want to say
a few things about the packaging, which is absolutely brilliant. The
bottle deserves a special mention. The design of the bottle consists
of a painted flame, with a stylized V, standing for Voyant, and the
name "Voyant" artistically spelled out below the design. The bottle
is painted in a sophisticated assortment of red, gold and orange
tones, blended with the soft white color of the V. The bottle itself
is a spectacular work of art. I would encourage you to visit their
website just to have a look. This is some of the most creative
packaging I have ever seen on a beverage bottle.

But, as attractive as the aesthetic design of the bottle is, we all
know that looks aren't everything. For this product to work, this
brilliant design must be met with an equally brilliant product. And
with that mention, I will go on to discuss the merits of the beverage
itself - and in doing so, determine whether or not this product

Voyant Chai is a mixture of many things. Voyant Chai is the perfect
beverage for someone who enjoys both fine tea and fine spirits.
Voyant steeps real spices and tea and use aged rum and premium dutch
vodka - only the best ingredients. It is obvious from my tasting of
this product that Voyant has put the greatest of efforts into
selecting the perfect ingredients for this blend. This blend of fresh
dutch cream, premium black and green teas, and the natural sweetness
of premium aged rum really hits the spot.

As a Chai beverage, this product suceeds on it's own merits. It does
a splendid job of achieving the perfect balance between the earthiness
of the teas, and the delightful spiciness of the herbs and spices that
make it a Chai. Also, notable within this blend is the mellowing
power of real vanilla - something which I really enjoy within a Chai,
and which I was delighted to find came through especially well in this

When I first received this bottle, and took my first sip of Voyant, my
response was a "Wow!" It really does taste like an authentic Chai,
with the tangy kick of spirits to help push it along your tastebuds
smoothly and cleanly. This beverage is also the perfect consistency -
Thin enough to be very easy to drink, but thick enough to really carry
forth a luxurious creaminess that creates the perfect complement to
the natural spiciness of the chai. This balance between creaminess
and spiciness is what makes this beverage so uniquely delicious.

I also really appreciate the amount of natural sweetness within this
beverage. The rum adds just enough sweetness to really bring out the
flavors of the spices, but is not so sweet as to be overpowering in
any way. Just the way I like it.

As I sampled this beverage, I drew alot of comparisons between this,
and Suntory's Zen Green Tea Liqueur, which I also love dearly, and
which sets a high standard for any alcohol and tea blend. I truly
enjoyed Zen Liqueur, but I also thoroughly enjoyed my experience with
Voyant. It meets the high standard set by Suntory, to say the very
least, and is an excellent addition to a world where tea and spirits
get along peacefully, and coexist together in perfect harmony.

I give Voyant Chai my full props, and my highest recommendation. If
you enjoy a fine Chai, and you also enjoy fine spirits, I would
wholeheartedly recommend Voyant Chai as the beverage for you. It not
only well exemplifies the essence of great Chai and great spirits -
but it does so with a style and a unique twist all its own.

I want to thank Robert at Voyant for pulling the strings necessary to
get a bottle of this to Utah - as I understand that was no easy task,
and I want to thank him for allowing me the opportunity to have the
Voyant Chai experience.

I would also encourage all of you to visit Voyant's website, to have a
look at the bottle, and to find much more information on Voyant.

You can visit them at:

Thanks for reading, and I hope you take the opportunity to try this
impressive new take on Chai!

Over and out,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

33 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

Hey all. I recently encountered an excellent article that sums up
many of the health benefits of drinking tea, and I thought some of you
might enjoy this.

You can find the article at:

Over and out,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In Search of the Golden Ibis

Greetings readers,

It's been only a week since my last posting, and I am already feeling
ambitious once more. Today, I have another review for you, from a
company I'm fairly sure you haven't heard of until today.

Recently, a representative of Golden Ibis Tea contacted me, asking if
I would be willing to review some samples for him. I did, of course,
gladly accept. But before I proceed to make specific mention of a few
of the teas that were sent, i want to take a moment to say a few
things about this new tea company. Since they are new to the tea
world, very little information is available about them, so I decided I
would try to help them ot by spreading some info about their company

Golden Ibis puts great attention into where they purchase their teas
from, and they buy teas made in a time-honored tea producing
tradition. This, to me, seems admirable. They also have an
interesting philosophy on tea, where they believe that tea should be
made in the most authentic way possible, but also believe that tea
should be attainable (although not too attainable.) This can provide
an interesting balance between the most expensive of teas, made
authentically, in a time honored tradition from a single estate, and a
more attainable tea that is still made with authentic, high quality
standards, but also is cheap enough to be affordable.

We will see if the samples they sent hold up to the high standards of
excellence that they seem to be proposing.

Also, since Golden Ibis is so new to the world of tea, they haven't
had enough time to figure out packaging, so I will not be discussing
that aspect. For this review, I will stray outside of my norm, and
eveluate them based only upon the tea samples themselves.

The first sample I will be reviewing is a Phoenix Oolong tea. I am
very particular about oolongs, but this one seems to be up to the
task. When I opened up the foil packet, the smell is the first thing
that hit me with this blend - it has that characteristic nutty sort of
scent that all good oolongs tend to have. The dry appearnace of this
tea was also perfect - mostly whole, complete leaves, with only a few
broken up parts.

This tea was also a pleasure brewed. It imparted a decent cup
clarity, and had that nice light amber color that a good oolong should
have. As far as flavor goes, I can tell that great effort was put
into all aspects of this tea's processing, as it retained the
characteristic nutty flavor of an oolong, while having very little of
the astringent properties common to improperly produced oolongs. This
was a very clean, smooth tasting brew that imparted the best
characteristics of an oolong.

While it is not the best oolong I have ever tasted, it was pretty
good, and maintains that delicate balance between availability and
quality which is so important to this particular tea company.

The second of the samples that they sent was a Long Jing green tea.
As far as straight green teas go, this is actually one of the better
ones I have been given the opportunity to sample. It was particularly
good at maintaining that mild vegetal flavor that quality greens
always hold on to. However, this blend did posess a bit more
astringent than I like, which leads me to believe that it might have
been rushed a bit in it's processing, or may have been harvested a bit
too late. Other than the slight bitterness problem, this is an
excellent brew, having a brilliant cup clarity, a perfect cup
coloration, and an excellent assortment of flavor notes, from that
stereotypical vegetal flavor to a very slight nuttiness, to a very
slight fruity flavor.

I would highly recommend this brew as one of the better straight
greens I have tried.

And the third sample I was sent by this company is an apricot white
tea, which I won's spend much time discussing, other than to say that
it is an exceptional white, and to say that the amount of apricot was
expert - just enough to add some character, while not distracting from
the delicate flavor of the white tea it is based on.

Overall, I would say that these samples are above average for such a
new tea company, but could still use a little bit of improvement. I
suspect that many of the improvements in suppliers, etc, are alredy
being made. Since this is such a new company, these slight
shortcomings are very forgivable.

I would recommend these teas to most people, although I would caution
the more developed drinkers out there that these blends won;t really
compare to their more expensive counterparts available from other tea
companies. These teas do represent an excellent compromise between
expense and quality, however, which seems to have been the goal.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will all give this new tea company a
try - they really deserve to be getting some attention, as they are
doing quite well for being so new to the world of retail tea.

Over and out,

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Clever tea videos

Hey readers,

I ran into a couple of clever videos about tea, and thought to share
them with you. Hope you enjoy these!

Over and out,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tavalon, Part II

Greetings, Readers!

I have just returned from my 9-day vacation near Yellowstone, and as
promised, I now have my reviews for the final two blends that Tavalon
sent me for review. Having already discussed packaging, shipping, and
so forth, this review will focus only on the two remaining teas, and
my reactions to each.

The first blend I want to make note of is Kama Chai Sutra - Tavalon's
take on a modern Chai. One thing I found to be especially delightful
about this chai blend is the addition of vanilla bean - a flavor I
could detect with relative ease in the blend. The vanilla is expertly
blended with the traditional chai ingredients, adding it's
characteristic smoothness and imparting it's mellow flavor
characteristics to the cup.

This is a relatively standard Chai blend, with little to distinguish
it from other Chai blends, besides the notable addition of vanilla.
However, that does not mean that it is a very good chai, because it
is. It is easy to tell that careful attention was placed in blending
the various herbs and teas together in just the right combination.
It's also easy to see that some serious effort was put in here to
ensure that only the highest quality whole herbs were included in the

The result is one of the finer Chai blends on the market - Not quite
as good as Yogic Chai, but far superior to your standard tea shoppe
blend. Although, in Tavalon's favor, Yogic does specialize
specifically in Chai where Tavalon does not make such a

The final Tavalon blend that I will make note of is called Serenity,
and is one of Tavalon's very fine herbal blends. It is made from
Chamomile, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Rooibos and Vanilla. Any of you
who are frequenters of my blog will already know that I have alot of
concerns with Chamomile blends, due to the mild and subtle nature of
Chamomile, however, the other herbs are of little contest over the
flavor characteristics that might have been drowned out in the

This may be one of the most interesting minted blends that I have
tried. Additionally, the amount of mind included was perfect - it was
neither weak nor overpowering, but added a refreshing and vibrant tone
to this otherwise quite mellow tea. The earthy profile of the Rooibos
did not come through as well as I would have hoped, but Rooibos is a
difficult herb to blend, so I am somewhat forgiving of this minor
shortcoming. The lemongrass was just right as well, adding just the
right amount of tartness, and it's delicate citrus-like notes came
through in this blend very well.

I was also quite impressed, once again, with the superior blending of
the vanilla in this particular mixture. The vanilla gets alot of
milage in this blend, smoothing out the edges of the lemongrass and
peppermint, and adding a brilliant mellow feel to complement the
mellowness of the chamomile. The sweetness of this blend was also
right on target, making this a blend that can be enjoyed fully without
the addition of any sweeters, re-emphasizing the role of this tea as a
late afternoon beverage (too many sugars in an evening tea can defeat
it's mellow nature.)

Overall, I'd consider this one of the nicer evening teas I have
sampled in a while, and give it my highest recommendation.

Well, readers, I hope you have enjoyed reading this week's tea review,
and I hope that you will stay tuned in the coming weeks for more
content to be added soon.

Over and out,