93 Tasting Notes
This tea is good for what it is – cheap, bagged black tea with added caffeine (mate, I believe). It created to provide energy and not necessarily to be delicious; however, it is drinkable (unlike the India Spice Chai I’ve tried from CS, which is supposed to be tasty—bleargh). I prefer this to coffee when I have to stay awake for an all-nighter. However, this isn’t the kind of tea you make just to relax and enjoy. This tea requires sugar and is good with or without milk. I wouldn’t mistake this for chai, but the flavor profile is similar. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued by Celestial Seasonings.
The worst chai I have ever tasted. Prior to trying this tea, I was under the impression that chai was pretty hard to mess up. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a “chai snob”; I grew up on homemade masala chai tea and enjoy the loose-leaf varieties, but I’ve also been impressed with the not-so-expensive bagged offerings from Tazo and Stash Teas. So, I was under the impression that maybe chai was just this miracle brew that was just impossible to screw up. Yeah, I was wrong. I’ve tried this chai with and without milk, with and without sugar, light steep time to long steep time, different temperatures of water. Every single time it comes out tasting like bitter cardboard marinated in cinnamon. I don’t know how else to describe it. Avoid at all costs and try Tazo or Stash if you’re looking for bagged chai.
I was very impressed by this tisane. The blend is a very fine powder, and I was afraid that it might be too strong, but it turned out just right. It does indeed brew a strong, flavorful cup for an herbal tea. I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of cinnamon and plum, especially since I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon on its own. The cinnamon flavor tastes more like freshly ground cinnamon and less like spicy red cinnamon candy. It’s perfect for winter as a hot tea (as most spice blends are), but I can imagine it working really well iced in the summer. Good with or without sweetener.