I prepared this as a cold brew and liked the spices. There’s a nice earthiness, a depth you often don’t get with Chais, which are frequently cinnamon heavy—maybe because cinnamon is cheap and other spices are pricier. This had a nice balance, seeming so homogenous that nothing really stood out at first. I found it amiable enough though and had happily guzzled through half the supply my big sis had sent me when she called.
When the conversation came around to teas, I mentioned that I was sampling this one, which is a favorite of hers. She asked how I liked it, learned I was drinking it cold brewed, and took me to task. It seems this stuff is meant to warm body and spirit in the dead of winter. Fortunately, I had some left and promptly followed her suggestion to try it hot.Warming this tea up really brought out it’s character. Normally, I favor cardamom as the topnote in my spicy chais but when I drank this brew, I could taste a sweetness at the back of my throat whenever I swallowed. That’s a characteristic of licorice root. I love a good licorice (not the same as anise) and found it to be a very pleasant variation to the usual cinnamon or cardamom topnote of most other chais..
The heat brought other flavors to the fore and I was introduced to it‘s warming aspect. Intrigued, I tried it hot and added coconut milk and sugar. It would appear there was a LOT of spice that was lost in translation when I cold brewed this. I’m picking up hints of ginger and cayenne and feeling all warm and tingly on this rainy morning. MMMMM MMMM.
I need to pay better attention to my samples and give them the full workup as some blends are significantly different hot or cold. I nearly missed out on the best part of this. Warming it up brought it from just ok to spectacular. Next time, I’ll remember to drink this one hot.