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Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
We had some rich GFOP Kenyan black tea which I thought would be great for a chai blend, but I wanted to combine the Kenyan tea with spices that are more specific to Kenya . . . the Ras el Hanout that I used for this chai listed the ingredients as:
“Tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, anise seed, cardamom, galangal, anise star, cayenne pepper, garlic, nigella, paprika, rosebuds, salt, ajwan seeds, lavender blossoms, mace and other spices.”
Whatever is in it, it is very fragrant, and it makes a lovely and interesting chai that is at once familiar and still just different enough to make it unique. You’re going to want to get your hands on some of this tea. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you guys think about it.
Learn more about this tea here.
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This is different. And as I’ve said before, different is good and that definitely applies in the case of this Kenyan Chai from 52Teas.
I could smell the spices as soon as I opened the pouch. The aroma here is different from the typical chai – I’m not smelling a strong ginger note like I would probably notice in a Masala chai blend. I am picking up on a hint of cinnamon, but mostly what I’m smelling is tumeric. Subtle notes of anise. Some floral notes. But mostly, tumeric.
The overall fragrance reminds me a bit of what I’d smell if I walked into an Indian restaurant, actually. Or perhaps a restaurant that offers Middle Eastern Cuisine.
Which is in itself interesting since I’d probably be more likely to get a more familiar Masala chai tea blend at the Indian restaurant than I would get something like this Kenyan Chai. Although at our local African Restaurant, they serve “chai” which is also the more familiar Masala blend type chai. Incidentally, they also serve Middle Eastern cuisine at that restaurant.
To brew this chai, I put 1 bamboo scoop of the tea and 12 ounces of boiling water into my Kati tumbler and let it steep for 3 minutes. The scent that filled the kitchen was rather delightful!
After it finished steeping, I took a wee sip to see if I wanted to add anything to the cup. I decided to forgo the ‘latte’ with this (although I think a latte would be quite interesting! I might have to try that next time!) but I did add a little less than half a teaspoon of raw sugar to the cup to accentuate the spices. Sugar and spice goes nice together, and the sugar seems to elevate the flavors of the spices just a bit.
And wow! I’m really liking this blend. It’s certainly different, mind you. This is not like any chai you’re likely to find anywhere else. But as I said at the start, different is good. It’s not overly spicy and these particular spices give this cup a more savory flavor than ‘spicy’ or even ‘warm’ flavor. It’s more like a really unique, savory cuppa that I really like.
The black tea is rich and robust. Now that I have nearly finished the cup, I don’t know if latte is the way to go with this. I don’t know how well they’d fair with the creamy element since this isn’t a spicy-sweet type of chai, this is more of a warm-savory type of chai.
As I write this review, I see that there are still 20 pouches of this tea left which kind of surprises me! If you haven’t gotten yours yet, you really should get on over to Zoomdweebies and pick up a pouch of it – this one is a unique and really quite tasty blend.