It’s a gloomy day in the city. Rain all day keeping everything wet. High winds keeping everyone cold. The threat of snow looming. Perfect day for snuggling up in bed with a good book and a hot cup of tea. Alas, I had to get my butt to work so I sat in traffic and and then under the florescent lights of the office for what felt like forever. When I finally returned home, I wanted something special and a chai latte just seemed right. I mean, when done properly, a good tea latte is like a nice hug for your tastebuds.
This particular chai is a little bit different. Sure it has the typical cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger. It also has some sneaky star anise which I wasn’t pleased about and a dash of black pepper which I think I am okay with. However, among all those traditional chai elements, Pluck stuck in a little bit of Canadian goodness by adding Muskoka cranberries to the mix. Like I said, I wanted something special and in theory this fit the bill.
I brewed this up in water, and topped it off with frothed skim milk and the end result is nice. I think this would have done better done the non-lazy way of steeping the tea in the milk on the stove, low and slow to really let the flavors sink in or even with a richer milk (skim can get a bit watery in lattes). As it is now, it is a little harsh. You expect creaminess but the tea really takes over. The ginger is strong in flavor, though not in spice, and the cardamom lurks somewhere in the middle. The star anise is nowhere to be found, which makes me happy, but if I am being honest, the cranberry is missing too and that is the whole reason I was drawn to this tea in the first place. One nice element is actually the pepper. I find at times it jumps out and really makes the other flavors, like that of the cinnamon, cloves, and other chai spices pop.
It’s an alright chai and I can see it doing well in the right conditions. However, it fails to deliver on the one ingredient that is supposed to make this stand out and that makes this tea disappointing for me. I shouldn’t have to search for the very ingredient this is named for.
Here’s the scoop!
Where to Buy: Pluck Teas
Dried Muskoka cranberries add an unexpected twist to this premium traditional Chai made with an organic Assam black tea, that also features whole cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.