Mint-Chilla Chai-Nilla Tea from The Spice and Tea Exchange

Mint-Chilla Chai-NillaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  The Spice and Tea Exchange

Tea Description:

A pu-erh chai tea with creamy vanilla, bright peppermint, and a touch of cinnamon. A rich smooth tea that adds a refreshing minty twist to the traditional chai tea flavors. Contains: organic green pu-erh tea, organic peppermint, organic cinnamon, organic vanilla bean, organic licorice root.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is an enjoyable pu-erh blend but I don’t know if I’d call it a “chai.”  The only ingredient in this blend that is common in a masala chai blend is cinnamon.  There is no ginger, no clove, no cardamom … none of the other “usual” ingredients in this “chai.”

Oh, sure, there’s licorice root and I’m enjoying the sassy flavor that it adds to the cup, but licorice root is not a common ingredient in a chai blend.

But whether or not I’d consider it a chai, it is a tasty blend.

To brew it, I used my Kati tumbler and heated the water to 190°F.  I added a heaping bamboo scoop of loose leaf tea to the basket of the tumbler and then I added 12 ounces of heated water.  I waited for 15 seconds and then drained off the liquid, discarding it (the rinse).  Then I filled the tumbler again with another 12 ounces of heated water and steeped it for 3 minutes.

The pu-erh base is earthy and smooth.  No bitterness or astringency to speak of.  Just smooth, mellow flavor.  The earthiness is complemented by the cinnamon and licorice root.  The peppermint adds a burst of fresh flavor while the vanilla adds a hint of creaminess.  (No need for dairy to make this a latte!  It’s a little bit like a latte without the addition.)

An enjoyable tea that tastes just like the holidays!  A great tea for this time of year!

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