Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Hampstead Tea
Based on a traditional Indian recipe, our chai is made with exotic organic spices from the East. Best enjoyed throughout the day as a creamy latte-style drink. Delicious both hot and iced.
Ingredients: Fairtrade black tea, Fairtrade root ginger, lemongrass, pepper, cardamom seeds and cloves
This is a tasty chai. I really like the addition of lemongrass to this recipe, it adds a nice, citrus-y back drop to the strong black tea and spices.
The black tea is bold and astringent. It is strong enough to hold its own against the powerful spices of this blend without overwhelming them. It has a pleasant malty taste in the background … is this an Assam? I suspect it is (or at the very least, it is a blend of teas that includes Assam). It is very rich and flavorful. A very good base for these spices.
The spices are also quite bold and peppery. The ginger and pepper in this blend are the strongest components of the spice set, with the cardamom providing a warm background note. The cloves are a bit more powerful here than in a typical masala chai blend – this could be because there is no cinnamon to take the spotlight away from the cloves. It could also that because the chai has been very finely ground and the cloves have a better opportunity to express themselves with the fine grind.
The lemongrass here is a delicate flavor in comparison to the other flavors, but it is no less appreciated. As I said at the start of this review, the lemongrass offers a light citrus-y tone to the tea, and I find it to be a very pleasing note.
I drank my first cup of this extra strong (I used two teabags) with a little turbinado sugar to bring out the warmth and complexity in the spices. As it cooled, I noticed that the flavor of the cloves really seemed to pop and accented the citrus-y tones nicely. For my second cup, I made a chai latte, and I absolutely LOVE this as a chai latte! It was creamy and rich. A real treat! YUM!