This is one of the more straightforward blends from the Vadham chai sampler; for some reason, I seem to have saved those until last! I quite like cardamom, so this should be okay.

Like some of the other blends from the sampler, this one has a CTC base, with lots of whole and crushed cardamom pods. As you might expect, it brews up really quickly. I’d say it definitely needs milk.

To taste, it’s significantly smoother than I expected, although that’s probably mostly a result of my own prejudices – not all CTCs are equal, after all. Some are more equal than others, and this is one of them.

Did it just get a little Orwellian around here? Just me, maybe.

The cardamom is very prominent, also as you might expect. It strikes a nice balance, though, and isn’t too harsh. The base tea is nicer than I expected; malty and fairly sweet. I expected it to be on the tannic side, maybe even verging on bitter/astringent, but it’s none of those things desipte the fact that I left it at least four minutes because I got distracted. By work, of all things.

The cardamom pretty much overpowers any other spices, but if you like cardamom then that’s going to be okay – and you probably wouldn’t have bought this blend if you didn’t. The overall flavour isn’t what I think of as chai, but it’s a solid cardamom flavoured black. There are worse things in the world.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, 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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