When I opened the packet, I was really scared. The smell was a cross between an Indian grocery store and a Chinese herbal shop. It was strong, spicy medicinal, and pungent. I only steeped it 5 mins for fear that the flavor would be as strong as its scent. Surprisingly, the brew had a very light aroma of spice. The pungency is barely there. The taste is nice and light. I get the tiniest bit of heat from the peppercorns with each sip. This is a very delicate chai. It’s pleasant but not something I’d run out and buy.