Vahdam Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

60

Just received this from Vahdam over the weekend and was excited to try it. Brewed western style for just over four minutes.

The flavor was okay — nothing special. There’s a slight muscatel flavor to it — nothing further. I expected more, based on the price they are asking for it.

I haven’t been impressed with teas from Vahdam lately and this is an example of why. They started off delivering wonderful teas about 4-5 years ago, but recent shipments just haven’t had the same quality, IMO.

I’ll finish this off but won’t order it again. I’ll try blending this with another Darjeeling to see if I can enhance the flavor a bit.

Date of Picking: July, 2020

Flavors: Muscatel

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Cute test tube from the tea box. The flavor is mostly turmeric and a warming ginger, but it tastes decent. The second steep was pretty good as well. I wouldn’t really seek this one out, but it was fine for what it is. The turmeric kind of got stuck in my throat at the end of the cup since the particles sort of suspend themselves in the water.

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75
drank Unitea by Vahdam Teas
24 tasting notes

A fairly delicate black tea, it does have notes of grape and muscatel from the Darjeeling, and a slightly fuller body from the Assam. Overall a pleasant tea, maybe a bit lighter than I expected.

Flavors: Astringent, Grapes, Muscatel

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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78

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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72
drank Fennel Masala Chai by Vahdam Teas
5964 tasting notes

Latte Sipdown (202)

It’s raining and I wanted chai. I was being lazy though and didn’t want to do stove top chai so I picked the flavor I would be least sad about if it didn’t come out well. Then my frother decided to warm but not froth my milk. So I didn’t have high hopes for this one.

Drinking it, it’s not strongly flavoured. That has been the case with all these Vahdam chais – when made like a usual latte, they aren’t very flavourful and they do much better with a stove top prep. That said, the flavor I do get is nice. Mostly cardamom, which I’m okay with.

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drank Unitea by Vahdam Teas
5964 tasting notes

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drank Unitea by Vahdam Teas
5964 tasting notes

U is for…Unitea

I was going to write this off because of the darjeeling but then the smell of the dry leaf was nice. Drinking it, there is a bit of the astringency that comes from a floral/drying darjeeling at the end of the sip but the body of it is pretty nice. Again, I will write a proper note at a later time when life is less hectic.

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66

Latte Sipdown (224)

T is for…Turmeric Spiced Herbal Tea Tisane

The strongest flavor here is actually cardamom which is a welcome surprise. Cardamom and lemongrass. A touch of earthiness from the ginger. Better than expected but not something I want more of.

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71

Stove Top Latte Sipdown (255)

K is for…Kashmiri Kahwa

Made this on the stovetop and while it was alright, it was nothing special. The green base made it lighter overall but it was just slightly spiced milk. I drank it while playing Pandemic and don’t remember much so pretty unremarkable.

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58

Stove Top Latte Sipdown (274)

E is for…Earl Grey Masala Chai

All the effort of making this on the stovetop and its just not very good. I am picky about chai and earl grey and so the combination of the two didn’t really speak to me. Probably why it took all day for me to start drinking teas in general…not really enthused about my “E” teas.

The top is a brisk bergamot flavor. It is reading potpourri to me. Potpourri and cardamom should not be friends. Vahdam tried to make that happen and its not for me.

AJRimmer

That’s such an interesting flavor combination! I’ll have to look out for a blend that pulls it off well!

VariaTEA

I think I have had it twice now. The other was an earl grey masala chai matcha by Three 6 Tea

Tiffany :)

Haha, I don’t like earl grey but I love chais (cardamom is one of my favorite ingredients in general)! :D

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D is for…Daily Assam Summer Black Tea

When I think about a daily tea, I think of black teas that are not overly flavourful. In my mind, the more flavour a tea has, the easier it is to grow tired of it if you drink it daily. That means that I don’t expect much flavour from this – just a smooth black tea that can give a kick of caffeine while not distracting you from your daily life. Honestly, I’m not far off. It’s smooth. Malty. The slightest metallic twang when it hits the back of the throat.

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#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #193 overall / Tea #17 for May
Tuesday 5/11 - Vahdam India green tea 2 sachets hot & plain 5/10, drank from fridge 5/11 with breakfast. I am not sure if I brewed this in too hot of water or if water had coffee remains in pot (using lobby container at work) or what, this just did not taste good.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown

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#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #104 overall / Tea #20 for March

Weds 3/17/21 (WRITTEN 3/21/21) — Vahdam green tea /2 sachets. Have 4 of these from an old sipsby box. Drank 2 of them hot & plain last week then cold-brewed them in a 20 oz glass jar. Nothing special to make me remember this in a good or bad way so not going to be something I get after finishing but wasn’t like oh this is terrible.

#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge

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72

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.

Cameron B.

Aww, we’re Vahdam chai buddies today!

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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

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 4 OZ / 125 ML

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67

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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80

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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86

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.

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70

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…

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drank Assam Masala Chai by Vahdam Teas
1116 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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50
drank Unitea by Vahdam Teas
803 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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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/

Leafhopper

I’m glad I didn’t get the Vahdam advent. Back when they were Golden Tips (I feel old now), they focused more on single-origin teas, but now they seem to concentrate on spiced blends. I keep thinking I should do an advent calendar, but then I read all your reviews and realize I wouldn’t like 60% or so of the teas.

Courtney

Lex and I were discussing this tonight Leafhopper. I do enjoy chai teas, but can’t have turmeric and it seemed like so many had it. Also, I don’t want to find if there’s a limit to how much I enjoy chai haha!

Martin Bednář

Get some rest :) You had really busy month!
I had troubles getting two Advents, six are indeed beyond me!

Michelle

Vadham has lost me as a customer as they now focus on turmeric and chai blends. Some of their most yummy teas are no longer available, I guess they are focusing more on new business and not their old patrons.

eastkyteaguy

I have wondered what exactly has been going on with Vahdam Teas numerous times over the past year. They used to carry a ton of high end single origin teas, but as others have noted, they now seem to primarily focus on chai blends and flavored or scented teas. I imagine this was a conscious decision on the part of the company’s owners. There are other vendors in the Indian tea game who focus a lot of their attention on single origin teas, so maybe they saw the increase in competition cutting into their profit margins and decided to focus on other products to maintain revenue.

tea-sipper

Leafhopper, I didn’t know Vahdam was once Golden Tips!
Ros – you are a dedicated tea professional!

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78

Sipdown! (32 | 353)

Cold brewed! I’ve never had chamomile cold before, but the other ingredients were just calling out to be cold brewed…

I like it! It’s mostly chamomile, which I find very refreshing iced. Then there’s the cooling mint, and just a kiss of citrus from the lemongrass and orange peel. The chamomile almost reminds me of elderflower when it’s cold.

I will say, I would decrease the amount of chamomile in relation to the other ingredients, just to allow them to shine a bit more. As-is, it’s mostly a chamomile tisane with some supporting flavors. And I do like chamomile, but I’m also wishing for more citrus!

Flavors: Chamomile, Elderflower, Honey, Lemongrass, Mint, Orange

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 10 g 17 OZ / 500 ML
Shae

I’m not sure I’ve ever had chamomile cold, but now I’m curious to try it!

gmathis

A little mint generally guarantees a nice chilled steep!

Cameron B.

Yes, the mint definitely worked in its favor!

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78

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Martin Bednář

It seems like a good fun trying “out of comfort zone” teas, but getting that much turmeric and chais won’t hit the mark for me. I can completely see your disappointment pulling out another turmeric or chai.

Checking their website and well I don’t see much teas I would really like to try. That’s indeed a shame for me.

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