Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Drink T
Chai simply means “tea” in many parts of the world. However, for others it means tea with Indian spices, enjoyed with milk and honey. Our California Chai goes its own way, using aromatic black tea, flavored with eastern spices plus a touch of citrus and vanilla. It’s a most relaxing and satisfying beverage.
Bring water to boil (212)
Steep Time: 3 – 5 Minutes
Number of Infusions: 1
I have been drinking a lot of chai teas lately, because the weather has gotten considerably cooler over the last month or so, and I find the warmth of chai tea – not just the temperature of the tea, but also the warmth of the spices – to be extraordinarily comforting when autumn comes.
But this chai – really surprised me! It is different, but I really like it.
The first time I brewed some of this tea, I somehow went into “auto-pilot” mode and I steamed and frothed some milk and served it “latte” before reading the information on this tea. In particular, the part that says “Cream: No.”
I will say that this tea, as a latte, is really good. It has a kind of creamsicle-y taste to it, like a spiced creamsicle. And I quite enjoyed it.
But now that I sit here, with a cup brewed according to the above brewing parameters – and no cream – I can tell you that it is so much better without the steamed milk.
This is a deliciously different chai blend. The citrus (it tastes like orange) adds a unique twist to the chai spices. It really wakes up the flavor on what might otherwise be just another ordinary chai blend. The flavor is bright and juicy!
Together with the vanilla, there is still some of that “creamsicle-y” kind of taste, but it is not nearly as strong as it was with the steamed milk. With the steamed milk, that creamsicle taste is at the forefront of the flavor profile, without it, it becomes a charming background note that really enhances the chai spices.
The black tea is a smooth, even tasting black tea, not particularly outstanding in its own right, but, what it does do – quite well – is allow these other flavors to take the starring role without being washed out completely by them. It stands on its own, without being overwhelmed, but, it doesn’t attempt to overpower the other flavors in this cup, either.
The chai spices are warm, but, again, they aren’t overpowering. They seem perfectly content in sharing the cup with the sunny orange and creamy vanilla essences, creating a cup that is not as spicy as some chai teas, but, is every bit as flavorful in its own way.