Leaf Type: Rooibos & Honeybush
Where to Buy: Chad’s Chai & Tea Co.
Made with leaves from the South African Rooibos bush, this caffeine-free chai is bursting with exotic spices and notes of cherry. Try it straight up or with milk. Great for all ages and times of the day.
Ingredients: (all organic chai) Organic Rooibos leaf, Organic Honeybush, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Black pepper, Organic Chili pepper, Organic Ginger, Organic Coriander, Organic Cardamom, Organic Calendula.
I like this! And there is so much to like…
I like that the base is a combination of rooibos and honeybush. I like the flavor of these two South African herbs combined: nutty with a pleasing honey-esque undertone. I especially like that the two herbs (and the rest of the ingredients) are organic; as I’ve said on previous occasions, there is a difference that is noticeable in the flavor between the organically grown and conventionally grown rooibos.
I also like the spice level here. It is spicy, but, I don’t find the spices to be too overwhelming. It has just enough zest to it to give it a lively taste without setting the palate afire. The chili pepper not only gives this a nice amount of heat, but also an interesting fruity note in the background.
This is a little different from a typical “red chai” in that it focuses more on the lively zip from peppery spices. Because this chai doesn’t contain cloves, it doesn’t have that solid background of gentle warmth, instead, this has more of a peppery punch, and I like it!
Overall, this is a very flavorful cup. It is warming and soothing – the kind of tisane I like to curl up to later in the evening, when I want something comforting. I also like that no sweetening is required with this chai to bring out the spice flavors – there is a natural honey-like sweetness to the base already. I enjoyed this without any milk or cream, but if you want a creamier cup of chai, this would take that addition well.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Chad’s Chai and Tea Company
This magical blend of tea and aromatic spices will carry you away to exotic lands. Crafted in true India-style,this Masala chai is the best you will find anywhere, at least on this side of the world!
Ingredients: Full leaf Indian Black Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Clove, Organic Chili Pepper, Organic Ginger, Star Anise, Organic Cardamom.
This is a very nice, even-tempered chai tea. It has a pleasantly warm, spiced tone to it without being too spicy. I did expect it to be a bit spicier than it is, actually, what with the presence of Chili Pepper in the ingredient list. But, the Chili Pepper is more of a background note and does not overwhelm the cup.
That being said, the Chili Pepper flavor does develop as I continue to sip on this tea. At the start, there is very little Chili Pepper flavor, and by mid-cup, the I can feel the Chili Pepper on the sides of my mouth and on my tongue. It is still not at a hot or uncomfortable level, but it is more than I had experienced at the start.
What I like best about this particular chai is the Star Anise. This is not the only chai that I’ve tasted with Star Anise, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I just happen to like the way the Star Anise expresses itself here. It doesn’t have a strong or sharp licorice flavor, it is a sweet hint of licorice that sort of comes and goes throughout the sip. Very nice.
This tea also has a somewhat surprising note of pumpkin that presents itself in the aroma of the dry leaf as well as the brewed liquor. The pumpkin essence is also tasted slightly in the cup, it is not a strong essence, but I can taste the distinct squash notes of pumpkin! It’s surprising but quite good.
The other spices of this blend are very well balanced. I can taste notes of cinnamon, clove, ginger, black pepper and cardamom, but they do not seem to be in competition with each other. They provide a very even base of spice that is warm and inviting. Delicious!
This is a very good masala chai blend. I enjoyed it with a dollop of honey and no milk – but it is equally as good served latte-style with a splash of milk.