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Bagged teas rarely are going to be as good as loose-leaf varieties, but Republic Chai was disappointingly weak by any standard. There was just no “there” there, if you know what I mean. If you’re hellbent on getting your tea from a bag, Celestial Seasonings (which I associate more with herbal teas than with quality real teas) actually has a pretty good chai that has the requisite spice and which can stand up to milk. If you want the real deal, however, go for the loose-leaf stuff, such as Rishi’s Masala Chai. Or, if you prefer something with a strong cinnamon flavor, rather than cardamon, try Porto Rico Importing’s Chai Tra Que.

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East Side Rob is head of marketing communications for a large philanthropy, where he spends a lot of time working late, contemplating a saner life, and drinking lots of — you guessed it — tea.

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New York

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