Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Thanks to LiberTEAS for the idea for this blend (and no, I’m certainly not calling her a witch of any sort; that’s just what this blend brings to mind for me). LiberTEAS wanted a smoky chai blend with some additional spices, so we blended some of our premium black tea base with some extra assam and some lapsang souchoung (smoked black tea), ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, star anise, nutmeg and cumin along with some organic flavors. The result is a smoky, spicy treat that will warm you to your bones. Get yours today while they last.
Learn more about this chai here.
Now, that’s what I’m talking about!
If you read the above description, you’ll see that I suggested this blend to Frank (the Chief Zoomdweebie over at 52Teas), and he made it for me and called it Witches’ Brew Chai Blend. He wanted to express to me that he in no way thinks I’m a witch, but I told him that it’s perfectly fine to think of me as such … I’ve been called worse! Ha!
Back when I was still blending teas, I created what I considered the perfect chai. I know I’ve told that story more than once. I spent over a year creating the perfect recipe. One of the ingredients that was a MUST for my chai back then was cumin seeds. I would even toast the cumin seeds myself, because it brought out such a lovely, warm, slightly smoky flavor. And of course, I never forgot the nutmeg, which I would freshly grind into the blend.
But one spice that I didn’t include in my chai was star anise. This is a spice that I didn’t become well acquainted with until after my blending days were over, and I have since fallen in love with the spice and it’s licorice-y tones. So, when I asked Frank to create this blend, I wanted star anise in there too. I thought that the star anise, together with the other spices and the smoky notes of Lapsang Souchong … would be … absolutely divine.
And I was not wrong.
This is as perfect a chai as I’ve ever tasted since I stopped blending my own. I love the star anise, I love that it is warm and spicy and there is a complexity within the spice notes. I love that I taste the rich, malty tones of the black tea base, and the way the smoky notes of the Lapsang Souchong meld with the licorice-y notes and the spice.
I love it served non-latte with a teaspoon of turbinado sugar to enhance the spices. It also makes a spectacular latte, just add a splash of milk or cream. Do take care not to add too much milk to the cup because the dimensions of flavor from the spices is really amazing … and too much of the creamy stuff will obscure that. Just a little bit of milk or cream to bring out the malty notes of the Assam will make a devilishly delicious chai latte!
And this chai is perfectly named too. One taste of this and it evokes thoughts of a great big cauldron over a pit fire, and a cloaked figure stirring the brew. This is SO SO SO good.
This is, hands down, my favorite chai from 52Teas yet … and certainly one of my top favorite chai blends of all time! It’s awesome!