Om nom nom.
So good. With a little maple syrup it’s like candy. Ginger-spice candy.
“Nom. Om nom nom. So good. With a little maple syrup it's like candy. Ginger-spice candy.” Read full tasting note
“sipdown! (and that makes 160! everything else tonight is just bonus time!) I can see why omgsrsly loves this chai. It's different than my preferred chais but in a good way with a spicy kick that...” Read full tasting note
“Brewed at a really low temperature because I had a green going as well. Surprisingly, this is the first time I've had this, even though it's one of the more expensive teas in my cupboard, and I've...” Read full tasting note
“Ooooh... an absolutely fabulous way to ring in the new year! This is an excellent chai with a wonderful balance of spicy and sweet. Jake and I both love it, and it's totally going on the shopping...” Read full tasting note
This medley pays tribute to the renowned French trading post in India, “the Half Moon City”, sited along a tributary of the Ganges in western Bengal – where the fond memories of yesterday blend into the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, the cotton mills and silk factories, and the heady aromas of tea carried by the wind.
Here black tea welcomes a plethora of imperial spices: cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and pepper make for a warming, piquant brew.
PREPARATION ADVICE FOR 1 CUP :
Amount of tea leaves: 2.5g
Best water temperature: 95 °C
Infusion time: 3-5 min
Company description not available.
sipdown! (and that makes 160! everything else tonight is just bonus time!) I can see why omgsrsly loves this chai. It’s different than my preferred chais but in a good way with a spicy kick that makes my mouth a little hot. It’s not overly hot, but the blend works well together. There’s not dominating clove or cinnamon presence which makes me happy even though i love both. I have a feeling this will be an order just so that i can play with it more with milk and honey etc… thanks a bunch missb!
Brewed at a really low temperature because I had a green going as well. Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve had this, even though it’s one of the more expensive teas in my cupboard, and I’ve shared a fair amount of it with Steepsterites already. I saw OMGsrsly’s note the other day on this though, and thought to myself, “I should really try this!”
I also think her review was perfect. With a touch of sweetener, this is just like candy. Delicious, creamy, sweet, chai candy.
I did this tea not in the recommended manner but in a halfway chai manner – boiled some (unfortunately) skim milk with a tea spoon of brown sugar, when boiling added a couple teaspoons of this tea and left it to simmer for some 5-10 minutes.
And my first thought at first sip was oh, so this is FRENCH chai. I can not articulate too well why I would consider it french, but oh so smooth and refined and flavorful. But it packs some heat indeed, no matter how sweet and smooth it is at first sip.
On taste notes, it smells wonderfully at spices. In the dry tea the predominant flavours are cinnamon and cardamom and emphatically of cloves. When simmering at a boil, it´s the cloves which rule. The wet leaves, before being discarded, smelt most strongly of ginger and cardamom. The liquor (milk? tea? drink?) itself tastes equally of the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves and it´s fantastic. And the pepper finally gets its revenge in the aftertaste, with just-to-the-point heat. (If you are sensitive to chillies or pepper, better avoid this or avoid brewing this chai style). And oh so so smooth all the way, so flavorful and rich but smooth.
Another note, many people hate cloves, if you do maybe better avoid this – it´s balanced but the cloves are there. If you like cloves, absolutely get this.
If you are like me rather neutral about cloves, then do check it. I think the cloves are wonderfully used here, they bring a really exotic different flavour and seem to make the cinnamon and cardamom just so much better.
I want to try to brew this normal style, but I did love this so very much chai style brewing this normal style is not going to be a priority anytime soon.
My last serve of this until I get a chance to restock sometime in the next few months. It’s warm and spicy, heavy on the clove and ginger and with a strong black tea base that avoids bitterness. It’s got quite a caffeine kick to it as well, which is just right for an otherwise slow Monday morning. Even though I didn’t prepare in the traditional chai manner, with cream and sugar this makes a nice substitute.
I went to a Mariage Freres shop a few months ago and asked them if they had anything that might encompass all the flavours of Christmas. The shop assistant was lovely and offered two blends – Esprit de Noel and, after hesitating a bit, Chandernagor. I smelled both and went for Esprit de Noel, which has orange and is smoother than Chandernagor. I didn’t end up buying Chandernagor but I found the smell impossible to forget even long after. Fast forward to now. I wanted a tea that wasn’t an indulgence for once, a tea that would wake me up in the morning and make me instantly alert and ready to face the day. That’s when I remembered Chandernagor.
It’s a very peppery blend, by which I mean that it will tickle your taste buds and focus your mind. You can’t ignore this tea. You can’t take sips while working or thinking about your next meal. It draws you in. Chandernagor tastes as good as it smells, which is strong and interesting. I taste cloves (so divine, wow), black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, in that order. It’s a rich tea that I prefer to drink really hot, the very nature of it just calls for a high temperature – I suspect it’ll burn you in iced form anyway.
4 minutes with milk and stevia works best for me.
I say that with an exclamation point rather than a period because I am surprised.
I had decided that if I didn’t like a Mariage Freres version of chai tea then I was officially not a fan of chai at all.
However, I found it really pleasant and non-offensive!
At first I drank half the cup black, then decided that the only time I’ve really enjoyed chai was in latte form, so I decided at least to add milk and coconut sugar!
Then I really liked it. It became creamier, more desserty, and the spices were toned down which I prefer. Because this one is peppery and strong!
I will keep my mind open to chai tea in the future knowing how good it is with milk!
Thanks for the sample, OMGsrsly!
(PS – even a much weaker second steep was good with milk and sugar!)
Backlog from yesterday evening:
I got this from the Balzac’s Cafe at the Reference Library and just stared off into space for a bit while drinking it. It was a nice mental holiday.
This is a very smooth blend, with no one spice taking predominance over the others. I could taste the cloves, pepper, and ginger, and the cinnamon seemed like a little platform underneath it. The cloves were strongest in the scent and at the beginning of the sip, with the pepper being strongest in the aftertaste. Overall, a nice, relaxing cup.
Oh gosh. Sleeping schedule has gone completely to hell. woke up at 4:30 again and of course couldn’t get back to sleep. There are a few loose ends going on in my life right now, and I expect I’ll probably be feeling a lot better once they’ve been addressed. Still though—possibly uncomfortable work situation today, and I think I’ll just be glad for the weekend.
I needed the type of comfort only a warming tea could bring this morning. And this tea manages to be both assertive and warming, which suits the outlook I need to have quite perfectly, actually. I sullied it a bit by adding too much milk, but hey-if that’s the worst thing that happens today I’ll be lucky. you know how all tea is warming, but some are more warming than others? this is among the warmest, I think.