I finally made this today. I wanted to brew and evaluate the tea a few times before writing anything so that I could give it justice. Here goes:
The dried leaves smell chocolatey and spiced, but not too spiced, you are not getting hit in the face with chai spices here, it just smells spiced. Like all chais, the tea is a jumble of leaves and pieces of tea that are assorted and pretty. I used 1 scoop (it is the wooden bamboo spoon from teavana, I have no idea how much tea it holds, but it is my usual tea serving size) of dried tea and was able to get three solid infusions out of it.
The first infusion was hot with no additives, brewed three minutes. LOVED it! good level of spice here, not overpowering, it is not the only thing you are tasting, here you can actually taste some of the chocolate but then there is spice, and varied spices, I am picking up cardamom mostly, but there is a hint of pepper with it. The spices actually come in waves or layers, however you want to interpret it. There is an upfront spiced flavor (not spicy, spiced), then chocolatey flavor with a hint of almond, then pepper spice (which is more of a spicy spice).
The second infusion was hot with sugar added, brewed three minutes. Still loved it, was ecstatic to get a second steep out of the same leaves. The spice seemed a little stronger here, so immediately after brewing (based on aroma) I added some rock sugar. Definitely did not hurt the batch at all. Still a good level of spice and the cocoa/almond flavors are a little more prevalent.
The third infusion was hot with a tiny amount of the sugar upfront into the brew basket. I do not think this changed anything, I feel the level of spice was about the same as the last two brews. The cocoa and almonds were not hurt and the pepper and cardamom were still well balanced. The reason I mention this one is because I got distracted (by shiny things) and forgot about my cup of tea, I left it about an hour. It is cold now, but still delicious and this has never happened to me before! Normally, I cannot handle a chai that is cold, the spice becomes overwhelming and I can no longer drink it. This is NOT the case here, it is still delicious. The spices are still there, they are upfront, then comes the chocolatey flavor and the hint of almond, then as you swallow, BAM! pepper! Fantastic!
I will keep brewing this, in varied methods, Cofftea has given me a ton of ideas about how to keep drinking this, thank you :)