Having worked at Borders (pre-Seattle’s Best), Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble I’ve tried their chai drinks and didn’t care for any of them. I likened the tastes to liquified servings of cinnamon & sugar toast. Granted, I never did try the Tazo tea bag version of this during my tenure at Starbucks, so I decided “what the hey” this morning and gave this free sample a go.
While I waited for the tea bag to steep I took a sniff of the packet and my head involuntarily shot back. The spice smell was so intense that my sinuses actually cursed at me in several languages. I quickly tossed the packet in the trash and tried to get myself back into a zen-like state of open-mindedness regarding this tea.
The smell reminds me a lot of the Extra Cinnamon gum that I had to stop chewing because it irritated my mouth so much. And here I must note that I’m a straight-up-no-additive tea drinker. I could imagine this tea being benefitted by some sugar and milk (but then I think that it’d be back to the liquified cinnamon & sugar toast taste). I actually preferred this black version over the other chais I’ve tried. The smell is a lot more intense than the taste. Someone mentioned that this tea reminds them of Christmas – I can see that, but Harney and Sons’ Holiday tea has already taken that spot for me.
Overall, I wouldn’t turn down this tea if it were offered to me, but I will not be purchasing this one. I am now very curious about their Double Spice Chai (with which I will NOT do the pre-steep packet sniff). M