Continuing the rooibos theme, tonight I decided to try another of my adagio samples: rooibos vanilla chai. Cinnamon, ginger, orange, clove and cardamom are the ingredients, so I’m expecting a pretty conventional chai in terms of smell and taste. On opening the sachet, I can see that the orange pieces are actually quite large and generous. I like the combination of orange and rooibos, so that’s a welcome discovery. Orange is the dominant scent, but I can definetly identify the clove and cardamom. The cinnamon and ginger are less pervasive, but I imagine that’s what’s wontributing the generic “spice” scent that comprises the backbone of this tea. I can’t detect the vanilla at all in the dry leaf, either by sight or smell, so I’ll be interested to see whether, or how, that develops when brewed.

I’m going to drink this conventionally for a chai, with milk and a piece of my now much-loved crystal sugar. Brewed, the vanilla scent comes through much more clearly, and my overall scent impression is of oranges and cream with a light undertone of spice. To taste, though, I get predominantly clove. It’s a little odd, but not entirely out of place. I can taste the vanilla, orange, and cinnamon, but they remain fairly resolutely in the background. I guess I’m kind of wondering whether the taste here is a result of the two whole cloves that went into this particular serving. I’ll be a little more careful next time, for the sake of finding out.

What impressed me most about this tea is that I kept forgetting I was drinking a rooibos, and found myself judging it on the basis of a black chai. It takes a lot to deceive me where rooibos is concerned, so that’s a really strong point in its favour as far as I’m concerned.

This is a pleasant, convincing chai. Overall, I think I’d prefer it brewed as a latte, so I may try that this weekend. I’m impressed, though. There’s definetly more to this tea than I was expecting!

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, 29, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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