Leaf Type: Pu-erh Tea & Yerba Maté
Where to Buy: Zen Tea
Velvety, mellow and deep, this chai is an enticing blend of energizing pu-erh tea, shade-grown yerba maté, and cacao. Made even more inviting by creamy vanilla, nutty coconut and fruity, pungent and uplifting Ayurvedic long pepper. It is the most sophisticated take on hot cocoa.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was skeptical. A chai blend with a pu-erh and yerba maté base? Sounds way too earthy for my liking! But, this Organic Energizing Chai Blend from Zen Tea is really quite smooth and tasty!
I don’t know if its really “fair” to call it a chai, because the only “chai” spices it has is pepper (and this is long pepper, not the usual black pepper) and cardamom. But OK, since, chai technically means “tea” and not spiced tea, I’ll accept that this is a chai.
But, that criticism notwithstanding, this is still really tasty. It’s not overtly spicy, and not nearly as spicy as I would like a “chai” to be, but, I like this for what it is. And what it is is a smooth, sweet, warm blend that brings together the flavors of chocolate, coconut and vanilla in a really exciting way.
As I mentioned before, the base of this chai is a pu-erh tea and Argentinian Yerba Maté. Both of these ingredients contribute to the earthy notes of the cup, and this is a very prominent taste to this drink. But, I am not finding it off-putting, and I’m not sure if it’s because the coconut and vanilla give it a pleasant smooth, creaminess that seems to soften the earthy tones or because the earthiness complements the chocolate notes so well (or perhaps a bit of both of these reasons!) The Pu-erh is more pronounced than the Yerba Maté, but I can taste both in this cup.
The chocolate is really nice here. It has a deep, rich, almost toasty flavor to it, and this is nicely accented with the sweet, creamy notes from the vanilla and coconut. Overall, this is a really tasty cup – certainly different from the typical chai! But, I like this one for its differences. This is not one I’d recommend to someone looking for a good, spicy chai, but, rather, someone who was looking for something that is a departure from that spicy chai. This is not spicy … but it is tasty!
I like it!
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!