This is pretty enjoyable, and I usually find chai to be unpleasantly sharp. But then I don’t sweeten my tea and this one has stevia in it, so that may be part of why this one works for me. Mostly it works because it’s got a smooth balance of flavors. I dislike clove but it is ok here because it’s counter-balanced by the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and vanilla. There’s a hint of a burn from the pepper, as well, which adds lingering interest without being offputting.

The predominant flavors are cinnamon and cardamom, sharpened by the ginger, clove and pepper and softened by the vanilla and stevia, which together nudge it toward a suggestion of caramel. Adding almond milk, this is easily as good as the chais my friends order at coffee/tea chains.

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket


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