This one sounds like your average chai – cardamom, clove, ginger & black pepper. It’s on a CTC black base, which seems to be the modus operandi for Vahdam. I’m not a fan of it myself, really, but I can see that it creates a base sturdy enough to stand up to heavy spicing. It’s also fairly nondescript, which I suppose makes sense when the spices are supposed to be the star.

This one is nicely spicy, but I could still stand stronger. I don’t think I’ve found a chai yet that quite meets my expectations in that regard. There’s a nice balance of spices here, though – I can taste the cardamom, clove, ginger and (hallelujah!) black pepper – each clear and distinct. I don’t mind the base, although admittedly I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. It’s just there – and that’s my point. It’s not a distraction from the spices, which are allowed to shine. Maybe that’s how it should be.

I like this one. It’s the first chai I’ve drank in a while where I’ve been able to taste the black pepper, and I love that. It’s also one of the more memorable teas from Vahdam’s chai sampler, and that’s saying something because there have been some memories!

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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