Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
So I’m really enjoying this Pettaiagala Extra Long Leaf OP we got in from Sri Lanka, and I know the pumpkin chai blends go over better in the fall, but I couldn’t help thinking that this would make an awesome pumpkin chai. So we blended it with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, black peppercorns and organic pumpkin and other flavors.
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When I first saw the announcement for this Sri Lankan Pumpkin Chai from 52Teas I double checked my calendar. Yep, it’s March. (Well, it was at the time of this tea’s announcement!) Pumpkin Chai isn’t exactly a tea that you expect to find in March. In September, sure. Maybe even as early as August. OK. From August through January, but when February arrives, we’ve pretty much had it up to here with pumpkin. By that point, we’ve had pumpkin pies, pancakes, cookies, soup, cupcakes and tea. By February, it’s time to break out the Valentines and extinguish the jack-o-lantern.
So I entered into this tea experience with a certain amount of “meh.”
But I’m really enjoying this chai. It’s heavy on the nutmeg and I’m liking that. (Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices.) Usually when nutmeg is promised as one of the ingredients in a chai, I taste hints of the nutmeg but this is a well pronounced flavor.
I’m also getting a strong dose of cinnamon. The cardamom is a background note. The ginger and pepper hit the palate at about mid-sip. They aren’t overly aggressive, but they do offer a pleasant spicy zing to the cup. I find myself missing clove here – I think a little clove might help round out the flavors just a little bit better.
Last year (at a more appropriate pumpkin time – September 22) 52Teas offered a Pumpkin Chai that I reviewed in October and I seem to recall that having a nicely defined pumpkin-y flavor to it, but I’m not tasting as much pumpkin with this blend as with the previous chai. The pumpkin does emerge somewhat as the tea cools a little.
But the lack of clove and pumpkin-y flavor might hide the nutmeg and really, for me, this chai is about the NUTMEG! I could smell it when I opened the pouch. Before I smelled the cinnamon or ginger or cardamom or pepper, I smelled nutmeg. And as I hinted at before, this made me a very happy sipper, indeed.
And because this is the one of the best celebrations of nutmeg in a tea that I’ve had in quite some time, I will let the fact that it’s mid-April and I’m sipping on a pumpkin chai slide. Just this once.