I was so captivated by the delightful aroma of my first cup that it had cooled to merely warm by the time I finally took a sip.
As others have said, the taste paled in comparison to the scent. The sweet, spiced, and bright notes seemingly disappeared. Yes, the spice is still there, but in a form that my tastebuds experienced as almost bitter. Maybe I taste a hint of orange, or maybe I am reaching. The sweetness in the aroma, perhaps a combination of the almond and orange, is eluding me.
After steeps at 4 and 5 min, I brewed one more cup to try it with sweetener (simple syrup, in this case). Big improvement: the addition quieted the bitter-ish notes and brought forward the bright orange flavor in a nice balance with the sweetness. Quite drinkable now. It is my biased belief that a tea like this should be enjoyable straight, but that said, I haven’t loved chai straight either.
The aroma, though: just wonderful.