OK Steepsterians, I finally found my Chai yesterday. Before I begin, I just want to say it took me forever to upload this picture of the tea-others I have uploaded were easy. The aroma from my tin was so good. I could definitely smell the cardamom, coriander, & black pepper. I couldn’t detect any ginger (maybe because of my previous experience with Yamamotoyama’a Ginger Tea), or cinnamon. *Note on cinnamon* Upon drinking another cup (08-13), I noted possible light background notes of cinnamon in the aroma of steeped leaves. Hard for me to detect, because most other cinnamon in Chai’s I’ve drank have had stronger presence in aroma and flavor.
I first brewed it hot at 4 minutes, and it was very good. It was even better at 5 minutes. The flavors of cardamom, coriander, and especially the black pepper were more intense, but the tea was not bitter at all. The Ceylon base tea was not masked by the spices, rather it was quite noticeable. This probably was because it was a very small leaf (a CTC by the looks of it), making the base tea stronger in the cup. Overall the wet leaf & spices were more aromatic, as compared to the cup aroma.
The flavor of black pepper was dominant-WOW! WHAT A KICK!. The coriander and cardamom were not shy either. I just missed having a cup of chai, the intense flavors coated my tongue….and stayed with me for quite a while, which I really like in a good Chai tea. If the cinnamon and ginger flavors were there, I didn’t notice them. This Cochin Chai was spicy and not sweet. A little sweetener could change that, but I drink it plain-only occasionally adding a drop of milk (to barely color the cup), and not diluting the flavor. Very delicious!! Rating: 92.
Iced it was very good as well, very refreshing. Same spices prevalent as in the hot tea, but just a little less so. Didn’t notice quite as much in the aromatics either. Still quite spicey and delicious! Rating: 88.
Brewing specs below are for hot and iced tea.
Cupped & rated on Fri, 08-12-11.