Mandarin Chai with Anise from Davidson’s Organics

MandarinChaiwAniseTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Davidson’s Organics

Tea Description:

Beautiful, full-flavored black tea, chai spices, anise and mandarin orange essence.

Ingredients (* organic): Black tea*, cinnamon*, cloves*, cardamom*, orange peel*, natural flavor & anise seed*.

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

This is another tea that I received from a friend as a holiday gift.  I hadn’t yet tried the Mandarin Chai with Anise from Davidson’s Organics so I was happy to receive it!

Eh … this is alright, but as far as chai blends go, it’s a little on the underwhelming side.  The black tea is flavorful, but the spices are a bit tame for my liking.  It’s not extraordinarily spicy, and chai blends don’t all have to be extraordinarily spicy to make me happy but, this just … seems to miss the mark a little bit.  Every once in a while I notice that my palate seems to be “searching” for the peppery kick of ginger but it doesn’t find it because there isn’t ginger in this.

I do like the snappy little licorice-y note that I get from the anise, and the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom give it a really wonderful warmth.  But part of me would like this to be a wee bit spicier than it is.  I think maybe I’d feel less disappointment if this weren’t called a chai and was instead called a “Mandarin Spice” blend.  I realize I’m arguing semantics here, because, ‘chai’ means ‘tea,’ but, as I’ve mentioned more than once, in this part of the world, we’ve come to think of chai meaning a spiced tea, and usually a highly spiced tea.

I do like the orange in this blend, it’s a little bit of “brightness” in the cup and it brings an overall “holiday-ish” sort of feel to the drink.  This tastes very much like what many tea companies would promote as their “holiday” blend, but there is much less spice to it than in the typical holiday blend.

It’s alright, but, just kind of boring.  In a world that is filled with so many interesting and wonderful teas, this one just falls a little short of the mark.

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