Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
My friend and sometimes helper, Jessica has been asking me for this blend, so here goes. We took our premium Assam CTC teas and blended them with freshly ground cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove and black pepper, then added some organic vanilla bean bits and natural flavors for a seriously decadent treat.
This is a very finely ground chai, so finely ground that it’s almost powdery. Because of the fine grind, I recommend using a smart brewing device like this one, as the nylon mesh strainer will help you to avoid getting tiny bits of tea leaf and spice in your teacup. (And don’t overdo it with the measuring. Too much leaf will make for a way-too-strong and bitter-tasting cuppa.)
The aroma of the dry leaf is nice: the vanilla and caramel notes are strong, and the spices are pungent. I don’t really notice much fragrance from the Assam tea, but even though I can’t really smell it, it is certainly tasted in the brewed cup!
BOLD! The flavor of the Assam is bold and assertive, and it is not about to let the spices and flavorings have all the fun in this cup. The Assam is a full-flavored, rich Assam with delightful malty tones that play off the caramel and vanilla flavors very well.
The spices are delicious. The cinnamon, ginger and pepper provide the strongest flavors here, with the cardamom and clove creating a warm background flavor. While the spices are not quite as well-balanced as in other chai blends I’ve tasted, they do their job and create a very pleasing, well-spiced cup of chai.
The caramel and vanilla are delightful additions to this blend. Sweet and creamy, they eliminate the need to go “latte” with a splash of milk – although if you wish to add it, that would certainly be alright. I personally think that it is creamy and decadent without the milk … with milk, this becomes an over-the-top treat!
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!