Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Chico Chai
Fair Trade Organic black tea and exotic organic spices are hand-blended to create this spicy, aromatic tea. Blended in small batches, by hand in Chico, California. Only Organic Ingredients and Fair Trade Organic teas are used to make Chico Chai.
Learn more about this chai here.
As some of you may remember, I’ve already reviewed the strong brew original chai concentrate from Chico Chai, and I loved it. But sometimes, I want a cup of spicy tea without the latte … and that’s when a loose leaf tea like this Original Chai from Chico Chai comes in. This gives me the spicy flavor I’m craving without the heavy creaminess of a latte. Don’t get me wrong, I love that thick, rich, creamy taste of a chai latte. It’s yummy … but sometimes I just want spice without the milk.
Of course, you can easily turn this into a latte too by simply brewing it extra strong (add an extra teaspoon or two of the loose leaf to your teapot when you steep it) and then adding steamed milk to the brewed product. A frothing tool will add that light, creamy top of the latte that you’ll get in a coffee shop (and pay six bucks a pop for!) Or … if you really want to go traditional, you can prepare this “stovetop” by simmering the spices in a milk/water combination and straining the spices. That produces a really delicious chai … but it also produces a mess which is why I prefer to make my lattes brewing it strong in water, and then adding steamed milk to the brewed tea.
But … if you’re like me and like to enjoy a good, spicy cup of tea without the latte sometimes … this loose leaf Original Chai from Chico Chai is just the thing. It’s a really flavorful chai! Lots of spice to it – including a really nice touch of anise in there! I love that licorice-y taste! – but I like that I can also taste the rich, malty Assam in this blend too.
I like that the cinnamon does not overpower the cup, I taste the cinnamon, but I also taste the peppery edge from the ginger and black pepper. And the warmth of the cardamom and I think I even taste a hint of vanilla to this too … nice!
There is a hint of nutty nutmeg flavor in this, and I love it when a chai has nutmeg. I think it’s one of those very underused spices for chai … something that is often overlooked as a spice but something that adds such a wonderful dimension of flavor that it’s so awesome when I do find a chai that has nutmeg.
I think I should also take a moment to mention the tin that this chai was packaged in. It’s a double lidded tin, with a tight fitted inner lid that seals in all the spice. I really found myself appreciating this tin as I was opening it this morning, because as I was opening it, I found myself wondering why I hadn’t yet had my senses overwrought with the aroma of spice. The inner lid managed to seal in all the spices so that I couldn’t smell them until I got that lid open! I think that how tea is packaged is something that is often overlooked by some companies, but I like that Chico Chai thought about this when they selected their tins!
This chai has a really nice balance of spices that is deliciously warm without setting my palate on fire. This makes a perfect cuppa for cold, wet autumn days like this one! Have I mentioned lately that I’m glad that autumn is finally here?