This tea smelled like chai when it was dry, and like chai when it was brewed. With sweetener and no soy milk, this tasted like what I would describe as a “chai and friends” kind of tea. It was like a weaker chai with a little something extra. Some bitterness, some natural sweetness, some very slightly soapy kind of element. It was fine without soy milk, but it was so reminiscent of chai that I felt like it was begging for soy milk. It’s very heavy indeed on the cardamom (which I love about it), and I think the cinnamon and pepper really just create an aura of warm spiciness rather than contributing identifiably to the flavour. There’s almost something vaguely Coke-like about the aftertaste.
If you plan to use this as a latte base as I did, it will be satisfying to you if you like chai and especially chai with a lot of cardamom. Surprisingly (perhaps in a pleasant way), I didn’t really notice any of the flavour I generally associate with licorice root (i.e. licorice!) with what I tasted, but the flavour is obviously more easily perceptible when the tea has no soy milk, and I drank most of mine with milk. I found with tea quite stimulating, which makes sense given that it has tea and guarana, so don’t try drinking it in the late afternoon. It’d be interesting to do a comparison between this and Kusmi’s regular chai, with both being served without soy milk so that the difference is clearer.