I was bracing myself for completely hating this since, even though it smelled good dry and brewing, the last Kusmi mate I had tasted thoroughly awful. Well, I was surprised (there seems to be a lot of that surprise happening with the Kusmi I’ve sampled…) It’s essentially the green chai I never would’ve wanted to sample—except it doesn’t taste wrong like I’d always thought a green chai would.
Unsweetened (on the first steeping at least), it tastes like a bit of a harsh cinnamon bomb in that it has the sharp taste of something to which too much cinnamon and nothing sweet has been added. Sweetened, it’s interesting. Sweetened and with soy milk, it’s a different and pleasant take on chai. You wouldn’t necessarily guess it was made with green and mate teas unless someone old you, because it produces a nice, light chai latte that doesn’t taste grassy or weedy in any way. It’s less fragrant and spicy than a regular chai, kind of like the polite, delicate younger sister of normal chai or something, but I think the flavour is still essentially chai. A key difference between this and the other Kusmi chais I’ve had (Sweet Love and Tchai) is that cardamom is not one of the most dominant notes here (its place is taken by cinnamon).
It’s good, but if you want chai, there’s better stuff around. It might be a good tea for you if you like to rotate different chais or something like that.