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!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!