Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Rishi Tea
Creamy, rich textured and inviting, this pu-erh based chai is unlike any other. Its delicate balance of silky and luscious vanilla bean, bright and soothing peppermint and sweet cinnamon transform this chai into something magical.
Learn more about this chai here.
Wow! I really like this, although I don’t know that I’d agree with calling it a “chai.” Yeah, yeah, I know that chai means tea and so therefore all tea is technically chai … but I’ve come to recognize the word “chai” as meaning a masala (or combination) of spices. And since this Vanilla Mint Chai from Rishi Tea only has cinnamon, licorice root and vanilla that truly qualify as “spices” (I’d categorize peppermint as an herb, wouldn’t you?), I don’t think that’s enough “spices” to call this a chai.
Regardless, it is tasty!
The Pu-erh base offers an earthy background, although with the strong peppermint notes and the creamy tone of vanilla, the earthy notes do not overwhelm. It truly is a “background” note in this blend. And since I tend to shy away from the overly earthy teas, the fact that the earthiness here is subtle is quite alright with me.
The combination of peppermint and vanilla offer a taste that’s quite like the creamy center of a peppermint patty candy bar. YUM! The licorice root is subtle but adds a nice snappy contrast to the peppermint, and the cinnamon gives a hint of spice to the overall cup. All these notes are subtle compared to the vanilla and mint … these two dynamic flavors are the stars of the show here.
Even so, the mint isn’t TOO minty, it doesn’t taste toothpaste-y, it just has a crisp, cool taste that contrasts with the silky, creamy notes of the vanilla. The flavors of the spices and herb soften the earthy tones of the Pu-erh … providing a very smooth, satisfying cup for even those of us who tend to suffer from Pu-erh anxiety. In fact, there isn’t one flavor here that really overpowers the others … this is really a nicely balanced cup and a very interesting combination of flavors!