This tea smells amazing. In the bag it’s all coffee bean with a hint of spices and in the cup it smells even better – brewed coffee and cinnamon. I personally love my coffee with spices (a side effect of growing up with masala chai) and make cafe de olla as often as I can, so I had pretty high expectations for this tea. Unfortunately it’s more chai than it is coffee, though you do get a hint of coffee flavor every now and then. Mostly it’s spices like cinnamon and cardamom. In fact, the cardamom is really heavy in this tea, I’d almost say it’s the dominant flavor in the tea rather than the coffee. The base is not as weak as the one in Chocolate Chili Chai, which is great. I noticed stevia was one of the ingredients as I was steeping my tea and got a bit worried – I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners – but if I can’t taste it, no big deal!
I added a splash of milk to see how it would change the taste (and because I typically drink chai with milk) and it really becomes a completely different tea. The coffee is a little more apparent, the cinnamon comes out on top, and the cardamom fades to the background a little. It’s not as good as coffee flavored milk, but it’s really nice as a spiced milk with some coffee. Overall, I actually really like this one. It’s not what I expected, but it’s still good!