Chai was a staple in my house growing up, and my mom used to make it with a lot of bite. It was a kind of rite of passage as a kid; starting out with just a sprinkle of spices and moving up to more and more. “More masala!” I would say with bravado in attempt to prove my grown-up-ness. “I can take it!” And then I would very slowly sip on it and try not to make faces, until eventually I started to actually enjoy it.
So of course compared to my earlier experiences, the spice level in this is pretty mellow. But it is the most authentic chai blend I have tried, with its whole cardamom pods and fennel seeds. I can see why this is so loved. The laoshan black makes for a nice smooth base, and the ingredients are extremely well balanced. Except for the goji berries; I think it could do without those.
Ideally I’d like to make my own chai spice but I probably won’t get to it, and will likely pick up more of this with my next order. And I’ll leave the super spicy chai for visits to my mom’s house. After all, I’ve got nothing to prove now ;)