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!