I’m having sneezing fits this evening, and the powdered spices in this blend are not helping! This chai is incredibly fragrant and obviously full of different spices: ginger, cardamom, cloves, definitely black pepper. I don’t detect any whole cardamom pods or cloves in the bag. It seems they’re all chopped instead of whole. It’s also quite sweet smelling. Once brewed, the spicy aroma still comes through, namely cloves.
I wasn’t impressed with the strength of the previous two teas I tried from Culinary Teas, so I brewed this double strength, upped the steep time, and used slightly cooler water to cut back on the astringency I found in their Assam base. I think that really made a difference in terms of strength, but this still leaves my mouth feeling dry. Seems I’m really sensitive to astringency lately.
Unsweetened, this tastes quite sharp with a hint of bitterness. Not something I would drink straight-up. Some added turbinado sugar (about a tsp) cuts the bitterness and really compliments the spice, but doesn’t enhance the white chocolate. There probably just aren’t enough of those mini chips to really make a difference. Milk makes this much smoother and creamier. I’ll try this next as a proper latte, simmered in milk and maybe with some honey.