A sample from Chi Whole Leaf. I remember these arriving a while ago, but for some reason I never got around to trying them, and then stuff happened and I’m only just getting back on track. It’s pretty cold, rainy and miserable today, so I figured ginger chai would be a good thing to have. I’ve never tried powdered tea before, other than matcha (and that only recently), so I’m intrigued to see how it works out. I used 1/4 tsp of the powdered leaf, and used an electric whisk to mix it into a cup of hot water. I added a splash of milk to round things off because, well, it’s chai!
The dry powder smells wonderful – very cinnamon-heavy and reminiscent of those lebkuchen biscuits my family typically buy at Christmas. To taste, it’s thinner somehow than I was expecting. The hot water seems more prominent than it would with a normal loose leaf tea, which surprises me a bit. I was expecting maybe a thicker mouthfeel if anything, given that the powdered leaf is actually in the cup as opposed to just infused and removed…
The flavour is interesting, too. I’m not sure that I really get ginger, per se. I definitely get cinnamon – and quite a sharp cinnamon at that. It’s not as sweet or mellow as I would have liked. There’s a lingering spiciness/heat at the back of my throat that could be ginger, but it doesn’t really taste like ginger usually does. The most prominent flavour, for me, is rooibos. It’s a little woody and earthy, and while it pairs pretty well with cinnamon/ginger in my head, it’s kind of taking over things here. I’m going to be honest and say I’m a little half-hearted about this one. The flavour isn’t quite what I wanted it to be, although the spiciness comes out more and more with successive sips so it’s not a total fail. I liked trying something new, and the whole leaf powder is definitely an easy and convenient concept. No waiting around, no infuser to clean and wash. It’s perfect for a busy morning. I wouldn’t add this particular flavour to my cupboard in any quantity, but I have four other Chi samples left to try, so I’m hopeful that one of those might be more my thing.
ETA: One thing I did realise as I got towards the end of my cup is that the powder doesn’t stay mixed. Most of it, in fact, appears to be sitting at the bottom of my mug in a kind of waterlogged sludge. Not good if you happen to inadvertently swallow a mouthful, let me tell you.