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This is my favorite chai, largely because it has a variety of spices (and there are big chunks of them, as in the picture) but no pepper! The ginger is also on the mild side – cinnamon, cardamom, and clove are the strongest spice flavors. I also love the bit of sweetness from the maple sugar. I think it’s the maple that gives this a really sweet fragrance in addition to the spice, too. The black tea isn’t a strong flavor, but it gives a backbone to the spices, so that the overall impression is of a strongly flavored tea (much more so than spices alone – I’ve tried). I would drink this all the time if it wouldn’t destroy my budget.

I’ve never managed to oversteep this (and I steep it like regular black tea, 1tsp/8oz, 3-5 minutes), but I might not notice because I always add milk. Seriously though, so much love!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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Boston, MA

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http://www.twitter.com/_teabird

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