Vahdam TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Stovetop Latte Sipdown (296)
For the first time I made one of these Vahdam chais on the stovetop. It’s a lot better. So creamy and combines well with the spices. It’s smooth and flavourful and just a nice mix of spices. My usual latte prep method waters these chais down and doesn’t bring out the flavors well so I guess going forward these will be strictly stovetop.
A moderately astringent Tamil green with strong notes of citrus and mint on the nose the latter especially in the freshly brewed leaves. Some sort of lingering herbal or medicinal and gently fruity aftertaste. There’s no associated harvest date best I can tell so the general subtlety of the flavors may just be age but they’re certainly subtle.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Eucalyptus, Mint
Latte Sipdown (320)
Vahdam recommends making this stovetop but I got lazy and just made it the usual way I make a latte. It was so pretty and the milk/tea line was so sharp. It’s shallow but I think it makes the tea taste better haha.
I’m wondering if I should have made this via the stovetop though because it’s a bit loose flavorwise. I get a really nice cardamom flavor but it’s separated from the milk. It’s like the sharp contrast in looks also made for a sharp contrast in flavor versus when I make my beloved chaiwala chai on the stove top and it comes together deliciously. So I guess next Vahdam chai I try, I’ll do it on the stovetop.
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Run in fear it is the Lapsang monster! Come to terrorize your taste buds! …. or not? This is pleasant. Deep woodsy hints, the smoky notes hit next but gently, unlike Lapsang which generally, I feel, leaves me feeling like I was on the wrong side of the campfire smoke. Clean and smooth mouthfeel. Leaves a slight smoky after taste but it also feels clean like a mountain top rain.
Latte Sipdown (288)
My sister bought me a chai sampler pack and a black tea sampler pack from Vahdam for Channukah. Today I was sort of just relaxing on the couch after class. Together my brother-in-law and I watch Ratched and we had 3 episodes left so we binged them while my sister did some work. Then I realized it was after 4 pm and I hadn’t had a cup of tea. I wasn’t feeling my usual matcha latte today so I went for a chai latte instead.
I used the whole sample for the package. It was a weird amount of leaf that was just shy of what I would use for a 16 oz latte so I debated about making a 12 oz latte instead but just committed to the 16. Maybe I should have gone for the 12 oz though because this is a bit bland. I get cinnamon but its flat. Like I know there is spice here but its all muted. Perhaps the others will be more successful…
I had this one straight last night and it packs a punch. The spiciness is no joke, but so tasty! I feel like there’s both heat and sweetness from the pepper with the loveliest hints of cardamom and clove coming through. To brew straight, I went right in the middle of the steeping parametres at ~95° C for 4 minutes.
I thought I’d make a pot of this on the stove this morning with almond milk after my volunteer shift and yoga, as a treat to start the day and it is delicious! The spices are more subdued, as is expected with milk, but they just meld perfectly together and have very little sweetness. I am really happy with this chai and can’t wait to try more from this company!
Samurai TTB #37
I love Assam and don’t love Darjeeling, so I was curious to try this blend of the two. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the distinctive qualities of the teas; it just came across as a somewhat mediocre breakfast blend. Fine with milk, but nothing I’d especially care to drink again.
Adventaggedon Day 24 – Tea 5/6
Welp – I knew I was asking for too much hoping that I’d get three teas I enjoyed in a row.
Honestly, of all the advents I did this year I found this to be the most challenging for me. There were a lot of very similar teas and repetitious ingredients – with so much focus on Chai/Turmeric. I really shouldn’t be surprised because spices are kind of Vahdam’s speciality and I did want something that would push me outside of my comfort zone – but I was just hoping for some more straight/single origin teas or more inventive uses of the spices. Not six variations on a turmeric tea…
There were many days where I really wanted to skip the Vahdam tea – but I’m very proud of myself for not doing that. Actually, in general I’m just super proud of myself for not falling behind on advents AT ALL. Last year I did five “full” advents and one 12 Day Countdown, along with a single instagram photo and daily Steepster notes – it felt like a lot at the time and I swore that I wouldn’t do the same amount this year. Well, I was right in a way because I didn’t do the same amount – I just did more.
I had six “full” advents (if you count the two 12 Tea countdowns as one advent), wrote daily steepster notes for each tea, and took an IG photo and story post for every tea each day in addition to running three IG advent chat groups – all while working my full time job (at which I was SIGNIFICANTLY busier than last year) and doing my podcast. All that, and I didn’t miss a single thing or get behind at all. It was a crazy packed month, and to say I felt busy would be an understatement. I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet that tomorrow I can just drink whatever the fuck I want…
This tea, though? Yeah, it was fine – I honestly was paying closer attention to the Bojack Christmas special I was watching that the profile of the tea, and honestly after reading Cameron B’s tasting note that might have been a good thing? I do recall tasting the mint, but otherwise it was a pretty nondescript tea. Sort of underwhelming to finish out the advent on, to be honest.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJM0NCOgiTR/
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 24
Well this seems an odd choice for the last day… Also I don’t see any green tea here, just big, beautiful mint leaves with chamomile, lemongrass, and citrus peel. I’m still steeping it as a green tea, just in case.
Yeahhhh, I don’t taste green tea either. The chamomile is the strongest flavor here, and it’s very soft and honey-sweet. The mint is second, and adds a soothing cool freshness. I also get little pops of gentle citrus from the orange peel and lemongrass.
As a chamomile fan, I like this one. It has a very soothing herbal flavor with a nice mellow sweetness. But I’m not sure why they even bothered with the green tea, since I can neither see it nor taste it…?
Overall, this was a very interesting advent calendar experience. I ordered this with the idea of going outside my comfort zone, as I haven’t had a ton of experience with masala chai and I knew this would have a lot of spiced blends. The format is really cute, with the unique little mini-tins inside numbered boxes. The art on the front of the box is gorgeous as well. However, I admit that I felt the distribution of teas was very unbalanced… There were far too many turmeric tisanes, and a lot of them were close together as well. I didn’t mind the several masala chai teas, as I expected them going in. But I really would have liked to see more straight teas included, especially more Assam teas. Maybe an Indian white tea would have been fun as well? And the price was quite high, at $80 – though there was a lot more tea included than other advents (470 grams!). Overall, wouldn’t recommend unless you really like turmeric…
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJMA9FugSnn/)
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemongrass, Mint, Orange, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 23
Wow, what an unexpected selection from Vahdam! A rooibos with chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon? Sounds delicious though.
It’s quite good. There’s a nice creamy cocoa flavor with the perfect amount of warming cinnamon, and a pleasant caramelly note from the rooibos. It is a bit thin, which isn’t that surprising given that it’s a rooibos…
I’ll have to try playing with the amount of leaf and steeping parameters to see if it can be improved.
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJJTedoAugd/)
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Creamy, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
Adventaggedon Day 23 – Tea 5/6
What the fuck Vahdam!? For the second day in a row, we got something completely different from anything else that was in the advent – do I dark bank on the same for tomorrow!? Seriously, not only is this the first chocolate profile in the advent but it’s also a rooibos tea. I didn’t even realize that Vahdam worked with rooibos, as it’s a South African ingredient and basically all their ingredients come from India or the surrounding countries…
It’s actually damn nice – of course, like anything from Vahdam, they’ve snuck a tiny bit of spice into the mix but it’s the cardamom note that I love so much from them. The chocolate is very natural though – not too sweet, not oily but present and smooth/creamy. I don’t so much taste the vanilla as an individual flavour, but I can see how it’s adding to the silkiness of the other ingredients in the blend.
Very different than anything I’d have expected from Vahdam, but I’m digging it!
Advent Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJJ74z9gBd4/
Adventaggedon Day 22 – Tea 3/6
Where was this tea hiding all advent!? This is probably the first tea in the advent that, if I saw it on the website while contemplating an order, I would immediately add to my cart. I fucking love rose teas – and a rose black tea with just a bit of cardamom sounds incredible!
I did like the tea a fair bit – it’s definitely one of my favourites from the advent so far! The rose is nice; distinct but not over the top. Pretty matched with the sweet and slightly citrusy cardamom notes – I expected the rose to be a bit stronger than the cardamom, but I appreciate the balance. The main issue I have is that, while all the flavours are nice, the tea is preeetttyyyy thin. It’s just like there’s no body to the black tea at all, which is shocking because so many of the black teas used in the advent teas so far have been so robust.
I’ll play with this one again though and try and find a way to get it right – it’s a cool enough concept that I think it’s worth the effort.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJHkg9EA3im/
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 22
Ooh, it’s not a masala chai or a turmeric tisane! I don’t love rose, but the ingredients sound very interesting so I’m excited to try this.
The aroma is rose, cardamom, and honey, which bodes well! Hmm, I’m not sure I got enough black tea in my scoop, as the base is rather thin. But the flavors are nice! I like the rose with the cardamom, it mellows out the floral note a bit. I do get quite a bit of honey in the taste as well, perhaps from the saffron? I can taste its sweet earthy presence here. As for the nuts, maybe a little bit of almond? But it’s possible I didn’t shake the tin well enough and all of the nut dust is at the bottom…
It has the potential to be very good, but the thinness of the black tea is distracting to me, and it’s like I can taste the water underneath it all. Perhaps more leaf next time?
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJG5NvpANyn/)
Flavors: Almond, Cardamon, Earth, Floral, Honey, Malt, Rose, Saffron, Smooth, Spices, Sweet
Adventaddon Day 21 – Tea 1/6
I’m glad I opened up all my advents this morning when I first got up, because seeing this one in my selection inspired me to pick up some coconut milk while grocery shopping today. I couldn’t imagine enjoying it straight, so I decided to make some stovetop Golden Milk after I finished grocery shopping using the majority of the tea received today, coconut milk, and a bit of coconut agave.
This was a good call – it’s amazing how much coconut milk can alter/improve the taste of turmeric! This stove top latte was very thick and creamy with rich notes of coconut, cardamom, and an earthy warming turmeric flavour. Not really peppery, but I imagine the pepper may have just been in the blend from the perspective of “activating” the turmerci? Maybe not, I could be wrong…
Anway, I probably wouldn’t drink this tea on its own but made this way it was enjoyable enough – not “amazing” but good.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJFCQREg2g5/
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 21
I have four fruit/herbal tisanes from my advents today, and I’m excited about zero of them… So I figured even though I usually save them for the evening, I’ll get two out of the way early so I have room for some teas I actually like later… XD
(And if anyone is still counting, this is turmeric tea #6 from the Vahdam advent…)
I’ll be honest, I was dreading this one… Some of their other teas have had a bit too much pepper for me, so the name didn’t bode well. But honestly, this isn’t really peppery to me. It’s mostly just turmeric with cardamom and a bit of clove. I get a wee little bit of peppery warmth in the background, but no kick.
So thankfully, this one is fine. Very earthy from the turmeric, of course, but somewhat mild compared to the other turmeric tisanes I’ve tried.
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJELciWgFOJ/)
Flavors: Cardamon, Clove, Earth, Pepper, Smooth, Spices
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 20
Another variation on masala chai! I’m not the biggest fan of ginger, so not terribly excited about this…
The beginning and middle of the sip honestly tastes exactly like their regular masala chai. There’s a good mix of cardamom, cinnamon, and clove with cardamom leading the charge. The ginger only really comes out at the end, and it tastes more like a powdered ginger to me. It does linger in the aftertaste as well.
It’s not nearly as gingery as I expected, but I definitely prefer the regular and extra cinnamon versions.
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJBt5wqA7_Q/)
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Grain, Malt, Smooth
Adventaggedon Day 20 – Tea 2/6
I’m quite proud of myself with this one – I saw what the tea was this morning and I was immediately frustrated because not only was it another Masala blend but it’s one with a focus on ginger – a flavour that I really dislike. I found a way to make it work, though!
I ended up cold brewing this over the course of the day in some straight milk, just giving the mason jar it was in a vigorous shake every hour or so to agitate the leaves and spices. I just strained it, and then ran it through my milk frother on the cold setting with a tiny bit of maple syrup. The result was a super thick and frothy major jar of refreshing chilled Chai that tastes a bit like a lighter gingerbread flavour! It helps that there’s obviously either anise/fennel/licorice in the blend – that sweetness is coming through very clearly, especially in the finish where it lingers on the tongue, and mixed with the dark maple and light but spicy ginger is feels like a super festive drink!
I’m certain I would have hated this hot, but this prep method really salvaged the tea.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJCZpVTAt6i/
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 19
Turmeric, tumeric, turmeric…
To be honest, this one is mostly chamomile with hints of the other ingredients. And I’m not complaining, because I like chamomile! I do taste a bit of the fennel, which I thought was licorice root at first. There’s also a very slight tingle from the black pepper and a sweet earthiness from the turmeric.
So I’m enjoying this one, the chamomile is nice for relaxing after spending a few hours on Christmas cookie baking this evening.
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI_SUdFAQD3/)
Flavors: Earth, Fennel, Floral, Honey, Licorice, Pepper, Sweet
Adventaggedon Day 19 – Tea 3/6
I was very unenthused about this tea today, so I sort of “cheated” and instead of brewing myself a proper cuppa I made it in a cupping set so that I only have to drink a tiny amount. I also kept the steep time quite short, because I don’t really fuck with turmeric or chamomile as flavours.
The resulting steep was more chamomile than anything else, though it was almost like a chamomile with an anise note!? I didn’t expect the sweetness of the anise, but it helped make the tea more palatable, actually. The turmeric added some earthiness but was well behaved. The liquor was very yellow tinged though.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI_pDY_AA7m/
Adventaggedon Day 18 – Tea 5/6
To be honest, I’m not vibing with all the morninga inclusions in the advent as of late – but tulsi!? Yeah, tulsi I can fuck with.
Ultimately this isn’t really my jam, but it’s not bad either. The savory basil notes of the tulsi and the sweet, natural lemongrass compliment well and make for a smooth sip. The moringa is pretty herbal and vegetal, but it works with this mellower savory kind of composition. Like Cameron B. I also don’t really taste the green tea – but that’s a plus for me…
Probably wouldn’t ever really actively reach for this, but drinking it if offered wouldn’t be an issue either.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI9HTxrAALU/
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 18
Hmm, moringa again. But tulsi, that’s new! The dry leaf looks very herbal, I don’t even see any green tea.
Yeah, this tastes like an herbal tisane, and a fairly bland one at that. I get some soft dry grass/hay sort of notes mostly, a hint of lemon from the lemongrass, and a touch of black pepper at the back of my throat. I’m not terribly familiar with tulsi, but there is a sort of basil-y note that could be coming from that. It has a nice silky mouthfeel which is a plus.
Overall, it’s fine. Very mild, but could be nice as a nighttime tea. I don’t get green tea from it at all, though it’s second in the ingredient list…
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI8bVHGAmpT/)
Flavors: Dry Grass, Earth, Hay, Herbaceous, Herbs, Lemongrass, Pepper, Spices, Sweet
Adventaggedon Day 17 – Tea 4/6
Oh, sweet respite from turmeric and masala! I was chuffed seeing this one today!
I’m so straight tea starved in between advents that my initial thought with this was “Oh, I should brew it Gongfu” but I didn’t have time to do that today. Honestly, that might be a good thing, because I think Gongfu brewed Darjeeling would have been a little weird even for me.
This was pretty nice, but there was a Darjeeling earlier in the advent (first flush, I think) and I thought that one was much nicer. This was very gently astringent and a little muscatel, but mostly pretty flat and thin for a Darjeeling. Very easy to sip on, and didn’t give my sensitive stomach today an issues – was a nice midafternoon cuppa.
The “Daily Darjeeling” name seems fitting though – would be a really easy tea to make a pot or mug of to drink over the course of an afternoon. Nothing unpleasant, but nothing that commands your attention. Perfect type of tea for that daily drinker moniker.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI6lipOAskU/
Vahdam Advent Calendar – Day 17
Another straight tea, and a pleasant respite from Turmeric Land (™). I will say I hope there are more Assam teas to come, as I tend to enjoy them more than the Darjeelings. This is a second flush, so I knocked the steeping temp up just a little bit, still trying to be conservative as I have little experience with this type of tea.
I do like this one. It has a smooth and somewhat thick bready flavor, reminding me of a Chinese black tea. There’s a bit of that caraway sort of vibe that I find in Fujian varieties specifically, along with a touch of hay and chewy raw grains. Otherwise some malt and autumn leaf, and that’s about it. I’m not really getting much in the fruity department, which surprises me for a Darjeeling tea. It’s very smooth, with zero bitterness or astringency.
There is a little hint of menthol-esque herbal note at the end of the sip that makes me think this has also been slightly contaminated from being near so many heavily spiced teas. It’s not unpleasant or anything, it just feels as if it doesn’t belong.
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI56irkAw4b/)
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Grain, Hay, Malt, Oats, Rye, Smooth, Thick, Wood