Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Yogic Chai
– Assam Tea (black Tea): Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the green, oolong and white varieties. All four varieties are made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas.
NOTE:The USDA recently stated that drinking black tea may lower bad cholesterol levels and could one day be used to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Read more. Click here!
– Cardamom: A household spice that is commonly used to support digestion without increasing Heat.* It has expectorant and diaphoretic actions.* The mucus forming properties of milk are neutralized when cardamom is added to it.*
– Cinnamon: This warming spice is traditionally used in cold formulas as an expectorant and diaphoretic (sweat inducing).* Due to its warming property, cinnamon is known to promote digestion.*
– Cloves: An energizing herb,* cloves are an effective stimulant and aromatic for the lungs and stomach.* Cloves are used extensively in Ayurvedic herbology.
– Ginger: In Ayurvedic and Chinese herbology, Ginger is known to have heating, cleansing, toning and stimulating properties.* Ginger promotes digestion, relieves abdominal discomfort, dispels chills and it is also useful for relieving respiratory complaints due to phlegm and arthritic conditions due to coldness.*
– Fennel: A common spice that it is traditionally used in Ayurvedic Medicine to improve digestion and absorption without increasing Fire. Fennel is calming to the nerves and their aroma acts upon the mind and promotes mental awareness. * Fennel is also found to increase low milk supply in breastfeeding moms.*
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
I have said this before: I love spiced chai blends. Well, many of them anyway. That being said, I am also biased when it comes to chai blends because I created my own Chai blend that I think is pretty remarkable.
However, I do try to remain as unbiased as I can when I offer a review about a chai, because I want to be as fair and honest as possible concerning any tea. And now that I have decided to discontinue blending teas, I find that I enjoy other teas much more.
Yogic Chai is one of my favorite companies because they provide exceptional customer service. When I deal with Yogic Chai, I feel like a person – an individual – and not a customer or order number. When I email them with a question, I get an almost immediate response (within an hour most of the time!) and it’s not some automated or cut-and-paste response. There’s a real person communicating with me. They treat me like a friend. I like that.
Yogic Chai focuses on what they do best – spiced chai blends – and they have the largest selection of spiced chai blends that I’ve ever seen from one company. From their Original Masala Chai (Black Tea, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves & Ginger) to some rather unusual selections, including Wild Blueberry White Chai and Acai Berry Mate Chai, Yogic Chai proves that they have a passion for chai! They even have some interesting medicinal chai blends.
This Fennel Masala Chai is (what I’m assuming to be) Yogic Chai’s Original Masala Chai with a heaping helping of fennel seed. The fennel adds a pleasing taste of black licorice to the cup. Sweet with just enough snap to it to make it a little less ordinary, the fennel is a very enjoyable addition to this chai.
The black tea used in this blend is an Assam tea which is brisk and strong, but not so aggressive that it overthrows the flavor of the spices. There is some astringency, but not too much. It does get bitter if you over-steep it though, so I recommend a brewing time of 4 minutes or less. I found 4 minutes was just enough time to extract a pleasing flavor from the spices without that bitter bite from the Assam. Success!
One thing I’ve noticed with Yogic Chai is that their chai spice blend is in good balance – not too much ginger, not too much cinnamon. I can taste notes of each spice without one spice getting all the attention. This is true of this blend as well, even though fennel is “showcased” by the name of this tea, it is not an overpowering taste, but instead, it falls in line with the other spices and becomes part of the blend.
I prefer this particular chai blend with a dollop of honey but without steamed, frothed milk. I found that the milk off-set the taste of the fennel more than I wanted. It was still good “latte” style and I could still taste the fennel, but, there was less of that fennel taste that I really enjoy. So, with this one – try it first before you add milk!
A must try for chai lovers!