3132 Tasting Notes
Made the mistake of trying this AFTER the Mayan Chocolate Chai (sweet and spicy… oops!)
Anyhow, I think this is the best savoury flavoured tea I’ve ever tried. Definite tomato and basil (and a hint of pepper!), though none is so overpowering that one would feel they are drinking a cup of soup instead of a cup of tea. The tea base is nice here – it fills in the background enough to again make clear that this is tea, not soup, but I can’t pick out any flavouring notes distinctly.
Upping the rating because although I probably wouldn’t drink this tea often, it’s very well-executed and a novel flavour experience (and I can truly taste the tomato – which I believe I felt was lacking in my sample of the original blend).
This review is for the new 52teas reblend of this tea. I may still have some of the old version left somewhere, but it’s hard to say.
Anyhow – first impression of the dry leaf was not what I was hoping for. It smells spicy/spiced, but not really like chai. It took me a while to figure out that cayenne pepper is probably what it smells like (maybe a touch of smoke too?)
Brewed up – again, the smell is just spice. While this is of course important for this tea, I’m missing the chai elements. I sampled some unaltered, and still am feeling like some of the “chai” spices (cardamom, ginger, etc.) are not as prominent as I would like – but the cayenne is bang on! Spicy and mouth burny but not too much – so that makes me happy!
I added some milk and sugar (that’s what I used to do to the old version) and I think I can taste the chai spices more, along with the cayenne. Still missing the smoke and chocolate aspects though (but I don’t really recall the chocolate being noticeable in the original).
Overall: I liked the original better, because the mix of cayenne/smoke/chai spices was amazing, and I feel like the chai spices are too subtle here, as is the smoke. The cayenne is perfect though, and with milk, I’m pretty happy with the tea, but I think it could use a bit of tweaking to be more like the original (also – the original was a CTC, which maybe gave it a bit of a different flavour profile?) Rating: 75