31 Tasting Notes
This tea is very inexpensive. As it is a blend of approximately 50% tea and 50% toasted rice, it is low in caffeine and may be enjoyed anytime. The comforting and familiar taste of toasted grain mellows the grassy taste of the green tea leaves. This is tea for the common man. I have been hooked from the first sip.
I have tried at least a dozen different bagged chai blends and this is only one that I can praise. It is entirely herbal and uses no oils of spices to enhance the flavour, but does use oils of orange and tangerine. It has a natural spicy flavour without the typical artificial taste of other chais. It is slightly sweet, with a sharp bite that is simply delicious.
My expectations for this tea were high, based on the stature of the brand in natural food circles. It turns out that the spice is enhanced with oils of spices, resulting in a spicy flavour so overpowering and artificial that I had to force myself to drink the noxious brew. After a few trials, I disposed of the remainder of the package. I am not impressed.
I like the flavour of this tea, but it doesn’t have intensity. No matter how much I use, it always seems thin and doesn’t develop a strong, distinct flavour. The leaves wash out after a single, longer steeping. With milk, it is overpowered. The tea appeared damp — moistened, maybe — when I bought it, hence I have docked 5 points.
The natural milky taste is unique and appealing, but it is likewise it’s downfall. While deliciously smooth and buttery, it can also feel too rich and flavoured. Like most green oolongs, it can become bitter, when strong, but a spot of honey will save it heroically. Reserve this tea for special times. For every day, I would recommend a more natural-tasting oolong, such as Ti Kuan Yin or an Indonesian (Sumatran) oolong.