For us Sri Lankans, tea is the elixir of life. A warm cup of tea can rejuvenate your soul, pacify your mind, soothe your nerves and lull you to sleep. And that's why we tropical islanders cannot quite deny our love for tea.
However, it's not just the full-bodied taste of tea that makes it special for us, nor the energising properties, but the proud history, tradition, heritage, and values that have strung with it for many years.
Today, tea has come a long way; from being a simple, quick drink that you can grab from a streetside kadey, to an ingredient in a fancy cocktail at a five-star hotel. There are many concepts and events affiliated with tea now – value-added tea, tea festivals, tea tourism, tea diplomacy and so on.
The Chameleon Collective
Chameleon Collective is a brand that has dedicated itself to crafting a unique range of luxury value-added tea. Their flavours are one of a kind, interesting, and capable of satiating different kinds of palates. Plus, they infuse the tea with natural ingredients rather than synthetic flavours and pack it in an eco-friendly way.
As of now, they have ten value-added tea varieties in their collection; Almond Cinnamon, After Hours, Cleanse, Ginger, Unwind, Picnic Mint, Green Apple, Paris in Love, Orange Chocolate, and Sour Candy. The names themselves are quite tempting and enough testament to how unique they are. We were lucky enough to bring them all to a single table for a tasting.
The Almond Cinnamon blend delivers the promised elements; Almond and Cinnamon, along with a range of other ingredients like strawberry, flower petals, and raspberry leaves. Carrying a lovely nutty flavour, the kahata flavour here is strong, but not overpowering, while the sweet cinnamon-y and floral kicks balance it out perfectly.
The combination of ingredients here creates a profile that's rich with nutrients and antioxidants, which benefit the consumers to a healthy heart and proper blood sugar levels.
Taking a step further from the usual ginger tea, Ginger by The Chameleon Collective is infused with ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon. Do not hold back from indulging in this, because it has a bold flavour, flooded with ginger to boot and gently touched with a herbal undertone, that goes down with a tinge of sweetness. If you cannot decide between a herbal or a ginger, this is a happy medium.
Rich with woody, earthy notes, Cleanse also has a slight floral-like flavour, along with subtle kahata kicks at the end. It's a combination of iramusu, hibiscus, ginger, coriander, and cinnamon, and is capable of controlling blood pressure, high cholesterol and inflammatory problems, while speeding up your metabolism.
This is your best shot at tea aromatherapy. For someone who had suffered from massive headaches in the past, I always find comfort in a warm cup of freshly brewed herbal tea more than anything else.
The Chameleon Collective's After Hours blend wafts a strong ginger, lemongrass, and zesty (due to orange peels) aroma along with a flowery hint drawn from safflower petals. Inhaling all that as you sip on the drink will provide the relaxation that you'd need after a long day at work. It has the healing power of scent that adds a splash of serene-tea to your soul.
This one is named well, because it really helps to unwind. Presenting a distinct woody and earthy aroma that is more prominent than what we experienced through the Cleanse blend, it's a wonderful remedy that's all about relaxing and heartening you at the same time. The amalgamation of iramusu, belli, nelli, lemongrass, and cloves is what makes this blend a job well done.
The newest member of the TCC blend family, this herbal infusion is so different to your standard, run-of-the-mill mint tea! It is beautiful to look at, and its flavour is just as appealing.
Keep in mind that this blend and its peppermint flavour have been made completely out of natural ingredients with no artificial additives; it truly is the perfect tea to wake up to or wind down with.
This tea might look like your usual black tea, but perfect brewing is what brings out its apple flavour. Mingling between the elements of apple kahata and tea kahata, the raspberry leaves and dried fruits give a fruity aftertaste that shapes up its flavour even more.
Paris in Love
Oh my! One would be crazy not to fall in love with Paris in Love. Not only does it have great flavour, but it also wafts an irresistible floral scent. I can keep on smelling this tea bag for hours, and use it as an air freshener if that's possible. It smells that good. And the fact that it all comes from the simplest of ingredients is simply amazing. The perfect steeping intensifies this flowery smell and flavour even more, while strengthening its aftertaste.
One of the most unorthodox tea blends we've come across, Orange Chocolate by The Chameleon Collective reminded us of the orange flavoured chocolate bars that we used to gorge on way back when. A powerful chocolaty aroma can be experienced here and that in itself is enough to draw your attention hook, line, and sinker!
The chocolate flavour will get a hold of your taste buds from the first sip, followed by the fruity, orangy kicks that ease it up. They've done a brilliant job in embedding the kahata flavour into this one. It's subtle, but not totally lost, and harmonises well with the chocolaty notes.
Brewing up a gorgeously pink cup of tea, Sour Candy looks like it came straight out of a Victorian novel. It's the perfect ensemble of sweet, sour, and fruity. A treat to the eyes and the taste buds.
The Chameleon Collective infuses this with a good dose of dried fruits and hibiscus, which is why its flavours are so intense and rich. Not only that, but its nutrients and antioxidants also have the power of improving metabolism while making way for a healthy heart, proper blood pressure, and sugar levels.
To Sum It Up;
Different shades, colours, flavours and scents; these blends by The Chameleon Collective are curated with so much attention and passion. You will enjoy all of their aroma and colour, ideally served in a white wide-brimmed cup and once the liquid has had time to rest in its cup. Take your time over your tea, because there is smell as well as taste to savour.
Like we stated previously, their varieties are quite unique, and they've made sure that there's a blend for everyone – especially for those among us who may be caffeine or tannin intolerant. What’s more, all their blends have been made to be suitable as hot tea and as iced tea. They can be a tasty wake-me-up, or a long dessert tea to linger over. So you can cosy up AND beat the heat with a cuppa from The Chameleon Collective!
Getting your hands on a carton of these excellent teas won’t be difficult! You can enjoy the blends in-house at Sushi Kai and Kantina Konditori (take-away & Uber Eats too), and even Bites in Arugam Bay if you happen to be in the area! You can also pick up any blend at Tropic of Linen or the Tribe store at the One Galle Face Mall.
Don’t want to step out? Simply contact The Chameleon Collective via Instagram, Facebook, or mobile (+94715349131) to shop directly through them. You can even gift the tea to friends and family in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom by shopping on The Chameleon Collective website! It really doesn’t get much easier than that. Affordable prices, exciting options and perfect flavours!