Continuing the rooibos theme, tonight I decided to try another of my adagio samples: rooibos vanilla chai. Cinnamon, ginger, orange, clove and cardamom are the ingredients, so I’m expecting a pretty conventional chai in terms of smell and taste. On opening the sachet, I can see that the orange pieces are actually quite large and generous. I like the combination of orange and rooibos, so that’s a welcome discovery. Orange is the dominant scent, but I can definetly identify the clove and cardamom. The cinnamon and ginger are less pervasive, but I imagine that’s what’s wontributing the generic “spice” scent that comprises the backbone of this tea. I can’t detect the vanilla at all in the dry leaf, either by sight or smell, so I’ll be interested to see whether, or how, that develops when brewed.
I’m going to drink this conventionally for a chai, with milk and a piece of my now much-loved crystal sugar. Brewed, the vanilla scent comes through much more clearly, and my overall scent impression is of oranges and cream with a light undertone of spice. To taste, though, I get predominantly clove. It’s a little odd, but not entirely out of place. I can taste the vanilla, orange, and cinnamon, but they remain fairly resolutely in the background. I guess I’m kind of wondering whether the taste here is a result of the two whole cloves that went into this particular serving. I’ll be a little more careful next time, for the sake of finding out.
What impressed me most about this tea is that I kept forgetting I was drinking a rooibos, and found myself judging it on the basis of a black chai. It takes a lot to deceive me where rooibos is concerned, so that’s a really strong point in its favour as far as I’m concerned.
This is a pleasant, convincing chai. Overall, I think I’d prefer it brewed as a latte, so I may try that this weekend. I’m impressed, though. There’s definetly more to this tea than I was expecting!