Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Chico Chai
Raw cacao is blended with black tea and exotic spices to create a spicy chai with a touch of chocolate. 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.
I started getting excited to try this Chocolate Chai Blend from Chico Chai as it brewed because I could smell the anise and the cacao. The aroma of the tea as it brews is so delightfully yummy!
And it tastes even yummier than it smells. The brewed liquid is kind of … well, I want to call it cloudy, but, in the tea world calling a tea “cloudy” is not a compliment, and I don’t want to insult the tea. The reason it is cloudy is because of the finely ground cacao. This looks a little like someone combined tea with hot cocoa. So with this chai, cloudy is a GOOD thing because that’s chocolate in there! (Mmm! Chocolate!)
I brewed this the way I typically brew a chai: with water instead of milk (I prefer to taste the tea brewed without milk first, and then decide if I need or want the dairy addition) and it’s brewed a little strong to make sure that I get a good representation of both spices and tea in the cup. Also, if the tea is brewed strong (with extra leaf), if I do choose to add milk, the addition won’t dilute the tea.
And after my first sip … this really doesn’t need milk. I believe that there is some vanilla in this chai, because there is a creamy element to the cup without the milk. Perhaps it is the cacao, although I suspect it is a combination of both of these ingredients that is giving this cup it’s creamy notes. Of course, if you wish to add milk to it, there’s be no harm in that – I’m sure it would be delicious! But, I like it just the way it is!
This is chocolate-y rich, but, I like that the spices are still the star of this show. OH … the anise! I love the combination of anise and chocolate together. So delicious. The anise is warm and zesty, and the chocolate tastes rich and dark and decadent. Mmm! Smooth, but, the snappy licorice sort of cuts through it at just the right point.
I also taste the pepper and the ginger, and the cinnamon is also strong, but, it doesn’t overpower the cup. This is a pleasantly spicy cup and it’s probably not for those who usually shy away from spicy-hot flavors. It’s not exactly hot, really, but there’s enough heat to it to slowly warm the palate and as I continue to drink, this builds a little in a very agreeable way.
I’ve had the opportunity to try all of the flavors from Chico Chai, and I think of all of the four loose leaf chai blends that they offer (you can try them all in their Chico Chai Sampler Box – it’s such a cute box – and it would make a really great gift for the chai lover on your holiday list!) as well as their strong brew concentrate, this Chocolate Chai blend is my favorite! I love the way the chocolate and anise meld together … I love the way the spices and the black tea work together harmoniously. I just … LOVE it!