Chai to Stay Dry! This was one of two different chais that was in my sampler haul from T2 I picked up in their after-Christmas clearance sale last January. The dry leaf smells very nice, with a spicy scent that isn’t coming off too strongly on any certain aroma; my nose can pick up cardamom, clove, and cinnamon quite clearly.
My brewed cup has a lovely gingerbread color to the liquor, and the scent wafting up from the cup is warm cinnamon. Mmm. The taste of the spice blend is very nice. It’s a very balanced taste, and has a stronger sweet cinnamon/ginger presense than most of the chais I’ve tried this month, which gives me a spice cookie impression. The close of the sip has a lovely mix of cardamom, clove, and anise, which gives the finish a deeper spice flavor and just a hint of a licorice sweetness from the anise. It also isn’t a really strongly spicy blend, so you can savor the individual flavors but they don’t leave lingering heat in the mouth too long; I’d say Reena’s Chai from TeaSource is a bit sweeter than this one, but this chai has a much naturally sweeter profile than Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasonings or Tali’s Masala Chai by Art of Tea.
The black tea base on this did brew up a lot weaker than I am used to with most chai blends, which is probably why the tea had such a lovely gingery color. It was a medium base (and on the lighter side of medium black teas) and since I don’t like my blacks on the astringent side, I really enjoyed whatever blend of black was used here. It really let the spices shine through, and this is the sort of chai that because of its composition, you wouldn’t really need to take it with milk and sugar. To be honest, because of the light color of the brew, the lack of astringency, and the balanced natural sweetness to the spices, I didn’t feel a need to even try it with milk! Depsite the fact the tea has instructions to take it like a traditional chai, just looking at the brew and from initial tasting, I have a feeling it wouldn’t be strong enough to take that way. But if you have been looking for a tasty chai that doesn’t require the extra effort of simmering up some milk, this is a nice one!
Flavors: Anise, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cookie, Ginger, Licorice, Spicy, Sweet