Based on the reviews for the 100 Year Black, a Chinese black tea that I probably would like, I figured this one was worth a shot. I’m in my winter chai season and was searching for something flexible enough for a tumbler, a tea ball, or regular tea cup. I was also looking for a more desserty chai, and after I read the company’s description, this blend looked like a really great balance between a cocoa-esque Chinese black, creamy vanilla, smooth and wispy ginger, awakening pepper, and warming cinnamon. Read the website’s description, and you’ll see what I mean.
Unlike other recommendations I’ve seen, the company suggested 2 grams for every 8 oz and longer steeps starting at five minutes. Less is more, more from less is cost efficient. Tasting this, it is like a liquid version of cinnamon rice pudding. Yes, it is that desserty on its own because the vanilla is so strong. Vanilla and ginger with an aftertaste of cinnamon are the mainstays of this, and like I said before, the ginger is more wispy than spicy. Don’t get me wrong, ginger is one of the strongest tastes of this tea, but the company picks out this particular variety of ginger because it is slightly “sweeter”. The pepper and cinnamon provides the majority of the kick, and the black tea body is smooth and malty without being astringent. The black tea is a little bittersweet, but in a good way and on the medium lighter side. Personally, tumbler is the way to go for this tea, and it does not overbrew for me personally if you leave it in large amounts of water like 16 oz. I get 3-4 good cups, with some evolution between the cups. The pepper is more pronounced in steeps 2 on and the vanilla and ginger are more pronounced in steeps 1-3, but definitely present in four. Otherwise, the balance is great.
You can probably gather that I thoroughly enjoyed this tea. It was good enough for my roommate to drink straight and for a non tea drinker to enjoy straight. I do wonder what this would taste like if it had the cardamom like regular chai’s do, but oddly enough, I do not think it needs it….never mind I like strong cardamom in my chais. This tea might become a staple.