I am not the world’s biggest chai fan, but I have had a memorable restaurant-chai experience that I’ve longed to recreate at home. Before I knew anything about loose leaf teas I was doing the “dusty teabag” + milk thing and thinking that was as good as it could get. Now that I’ve joined the realm of loose leaf tea drinkers, I’m excited about the higher quality chais I can try- maybe I’ll even like the stuff better.
This chai has a flavor profile I really like. I’m not into the clove/cinnamon/nutmeg and “heavy” flavors that masala-type chais have. This spicy combo leans too much into cinnamon for me, but is still set off nicely by the coconut, ginger, lemongrass and cardamon. The lemongrass and coconut are my favorites (I must say that lemongrass seems an odd pairing with cinnamon, but I can live with it).
After being hit full force by the cinnamon, I detected the lemongrass. Coconut comes in somewhere in the background. Yum! Oh- and you can forget the photograph showing a large slice of coconut. The coconut is of the grated variety (if you want large coconut pieces, try the Caribbean Calypso by Teavana).
I added unsweetened vanilla almond milk (why not?) post-steeping and found that while I liked the flavor, it cut the sweetness a little too much. I put in a few pebbles of rock sugar and – hey, now! Now I’m really enjoying this!
I got down to the bottom of the cup, and you know those little floaters that alway escape the infuser? I almost wanted to chew them, because they made that last bit of tea extra-delicious! Maybe they could be added into some moist, delicious muffin batter.
Anyhoo, I look forward to my next Thai Chai with vanilla almond milk & rock sugar (or honey) experience.