This one I got out of the EU Travelling Teabox (round 1). At first I wasn’t even planning to try it at all, but then two things happened.
1. I found myself rather forced to take some more stuff out, because I couldn’t tetris everything into the box and close the lid.
2. Scheherazade shared a couple of bags of surprisingly pleasant (well, it surprised me) chai with me, so I thought why not?
The more I thought about this one, the more appealing I thought it was. Nuts, you know. :)
I’m trying it tonight while I’m home alone and rather need something warming. I haven’t quite reached the point where I can only stand peppermint herbals yet, but let me put it this way. In the last 48 hours I’ve watched 23 episodes of As Time Goes By. I think that speaks volumes about my current health, really. I’ll be taking season four with me to bed as soon as I’m finished writing this.
I don’t usually like milk in my tea, in fact I tend to generally be of the opinion that milk and/or sweetener is just ruining the cup (especially the sweetener, blech!), but I’ve come to understand that I really do need it there in a chai. Otherwise it seems unfinished, somehow. Even so, I’ve got a few mouthfuls of this in a second cup without milk, so that I can taste it unadulterated.
I’ll start with the non-milk version. As it was the dregs of the pot, it’s gone a bit bitter. It smells very cinnamon-y but it doesn’t have an overwhelming cinnamon taste. Mind you, I can’t taste any nuts either but that might be the dregs-y situation’s fault. If it hadn’t gone so bitter, it does taste like it would be really rather nice.
As for the milked cup, I fulled the mug about a quarter up with milk and nuked it. I am too damn lazy for saucepans when it’s such a relatively small amount of milk we’re talking about. Then I poured the finished tea into that, and this does smell quite nutty. And milky. It only lacks chocolate and it would smell like hot nutella. I can detect the cinnamon as well, but it’s even more discreet here than without the milk.
It’s not at all bitter with the warm milk in. It’s very sweet, actually. Partly I think because of the nuts, and partly because of the milk. (Seriously, next time you have a glass of milk, pay attention to it. It really does have a sweet taste to it) The spices are very low here, as is the base tea, so I pretty much feel like I’m drinking warm nutty milk.
Which, actually, is really rather nice. For all the lack of base tea and spices, I strongly suspect that I would notice them NOT being there, so I don’t think they’re completely invisible. They’re just… background noise. Rounding everything out. As the cup cools the spices come in to play more, but still mainly as an aftertaste.
I’m glad my tetris-inabilities forced me to pilfer this one. It’s really very pleasant. Perhaps I can learn to enjoy chai. It’s just a question of finding the correct chai.