I love spicy teas, so when I saw that 52Teas has a special spiced blend for the Chinese New year, I had to try it. Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas is one of my favorite chai blends I’ve tried in a while. In the dry leaf, you can smell the Szechwan peppercorns, adding a little heat and a little tingly, earthy ground pepper scent.
The peppercorns are well-balanced with the sweeter spices like anise and ginger. The orange peels are specifically mandarin oranges, and there’s something distinct in the citrus flavor that makes it feel different than the usual orange notes. Finally, there are also plenty of cloves that add their own sweet-spice, almost making the dry tea leaves have a fragrance like Dr. Pepper or Moxie soda.
Brewed, the black tea really shines and shows off its quality, tippy tea leaf origins. Somehow both smooth and tart, it makes the pepper and orange pop on my tongue but without any spicy after-burn on my throat. There is still a very full-flavored scent in my mug with cloves and ginger, but it’s not sweat-inducing spicy in taste, very drinkable. No honey or milk needed (though you can always add them if you love it), the blend is well-balanced right out of the bag.
I ordered the sample size but I’ve already finished it, so I’ll have to put the full size bag in my shopping cart soon. This is a tasty, unique chai for spicy tea lovers everywhere.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Since China is a very important part of what I do (since most of my tea comes from China!), I decided it was important to do something to celebrate the ringing in of the Chinese New Year this year (The Year of the Dog)! I started with two black Yunnan teas – a Yunnan Black Gold and a tippy Assamica grown in the Yunnan Province – and added dried mandarin wedges and the whole spices of a Chinese 5 Spice blend: Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Fennel and Szechwan peppercorns. Then I added just a wee bit of ginger to enhance the peppery notes just a little. The result is a cuppa that is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy! It’s a really nice, round flavor! The mandarin orange flavor is bright and adds a nice touch to the spices here. It’s kind of like an orange flavored chai – Chinese style! I’m really happy with how this one came out – the spices are strong enough to be inviting but don’t blow out the taste buds with the spice – and the mandarin is really lovely: sweet and juicy!