Chai to Stay Dry! This is another chai I picked up with my birthday giftcard from Tea Chai Te (one of my favorite tea shops that is located in Portland, Oregon… I’m so glad they have a web shop so I can continue to try their teas since I haven’t had another vacation out that way in some time!) This tea uses their Mt. Hood Vanilla black tea as a base, and then adds cloves and cinnamon. The dry leaf smells lovely… the name seems quite appropriate from the wonderful spicy vanilla aroma.
This tea has a lovely depth to it. The vanilla is very natural, giving it a warm, sweet flavor, that isn’t syrupy or overbearing like teas full of flavorings. Mixed with the ceylon base and the spices, I get rich caramel notes, with a hint of dark cocoa. It’s very smooth, and even though the black tea brews up quite dark, there is no bitterness, and only the slightest hint of astringency left on the tongue after sipping. There is a wonderful cinnamon note that is left on the tongue after each sip, but it isn’t a hot, spicy cinnamon, but more of a sweet cinnamon note, like when you spread cinnamon-sugar over the top of toast! Just below the sweetness, is the subtle touch of clove, adding a little more depth.
This tea is amazing! I really loved the Colonille vanilla tea I sampled not long ago, that had the Vietnamese black base mixed with vanilla, but this easily outranks it with that sweet warm touch of cinnamon perfectly complimenting the vanilla notes.
I had originally planned to make this as a vanilla almond milk latte, because I expected the Ceylon to be more bitter and astringent (as it usually is for me), but this tea is just perfect as it is! It is a perfect balance of flavors, and I’m pretty sure this is going to be a permanent staple in my collection from now on.
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Clove, Dark Chocolate, Smooth, Sweet