Charmaine sent me a few samples to review. Before I begin to talk about the tea itself, let me first say a few words about the brand and presentation. I was curious to know how Charmaine came up with the name Gullah Girl. According to Wikipedia, the Gullah are descendants of slaves in South Carolina and Georgia. Charmaine chose the name to honor her culture and her grandmother, whose herbal remedies inspired the teas Charmaine has created. As you can see above, the samples came in adorable mini mason jars with a scrap of burlap. Much more charming than the typical plastic resealable bags we see so often these days. I’m already plotting ways to reuse mine!
I wanted to start with the one described as a toasted coconut chai, because well, let’s face it. Who wouldn’t?
The dry tea itself looks like a typical black tea with bits of coconut, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom. It smells rich and spicy. As this is a handcrafted tea, and carefully packaged in the mason jar so it doesn’t get crushed, there are none of the usual bits of “tea dust” in the jar. I brewed this one at 212 for about three minutes. I think I’d steep a bit longer next time. I typically add skim milk that I’ve already microwaved to a chai, so I didn’t get to try this one plain.
Once brewed, flavors that stand out are cardamom and vanilla. Ginger and clove are a bit more mild, but still come out to play in this delicious blend. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I tasted any coconut, but it may have been lost in the mix, especially with milk. With milk, it is a medium bodied tea, bright and smooth. She clearly used a high quality Assam tea base. It made me feel like cuddling up in a warm blanket and reading a book by the fireplace.
Gullah Girl Tea describes this tea as:
The sands is a beach in Port Royal, South Carolina, where many people go to fish and once went to crab. It is also a place to go and revel in the stars and full moon a space for families and couples alike. Full Moon at the Sands is a twist on the original High Tide at the Sands, Fresh Chai.
Full Moon at the Sands is a deliciously spicy blend of fresh ginger, toasted coconut, Assam black tea, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, peppercorns and cardamon in this warm spiced blend. This blend is perfect as you get cozy and warm and snuggle up to the ones you love. This blend is excellent warm with the milk of your choice and goes great as an iced tea as well.
There are a myriad of fine chais out there to experiment with, and this is certainly one of them! While I didn’t think the coconut in this one was particularly pronounced, I still found it a delightful blend, and will enjoy sipping it this evening, and sharing it with my fiance, another chai enthusiast. I can’t speak to the caffeine content just yet and don’t see mention of it on the website, but I would assume an Assam black would have medium caffeine content.