As a chai tea lover, I’m surprised I haven’t run into more Chai Safari teas in my experience. Needless to say, I was excited to brew up a cup of spicy tea and try a new flavor.
I took one look at the dry leaf of this tea and immediately wanted to look up the ingredients. The black tea leaves are processed into small pellets, which is typical for some types of chai, but I was confused when I saw the green tulsi leaves mixed in. It’s not everyday that you see green ingredients in a chai tea, it’s usually lots of golden ginger and warm, brown cinnamon. Classic Masala Chai blend from Chai Safari has many of the classic chai staples like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, but it mixes in some more surprising ingredients like black pepper, tulsi (holy basil), and saffron.
Brewed this is everything you would expect from a chai tea: bold and warming, with the spice-cookie flavors of ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. I love the idea of the peppercorns in my teas, but it is hard to pick out the pepper flavor in this brew. Maybe some of the heat I associated with the ginger is actually from the black pepper.
The piece that sets this chai appart is the inclusion of tulsi and saffron. These herbs add just a hint of floral sweetness in the scent and aftertaste. These refined flavors are an unexpected compliment to the bolder spices and made me realize that there is more to chai than ginger and cinnamon alone.
I will have to adventure into Chai Safari again and check out more unexpected chai tea flavors!