While sniffing this tea before steeping (what? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who does this) I can definitely pick up a big whiff of ginger in the dry leaves. The leaves are better-looking than average for chai; they also have more of a presence in the blend (as far as fragrance and so on) than some do. I also observed lots of chunks of other stuff (spices?) in there with the tea leaves. The curls of dried ginger were the most noticeable of these. (And also were quite impressive. Don’t most chais just have minced ginger or something? These curls were really cool-looking.)
When steeping, I used a couple of generous spoonfuls for my latte mug and hot water that I poured out just after boiling. I may have been a bit over-lavish with the leaves compared to what the steeping instructions said, but I was feeling like drinking a strong chai. I steeped it four minutes before removing the leaves. The rehydrated pods (I think that’s the cardamom?) and curls of ginger were much more obvious in the tea leaves now. The brewed tea turned out a strongish darkish brown (but not the darkest ever).
Now that the finished product is in hand, I can actually smell the black tea along with the spices. This isn’t always the case with chai, so I appreciated it. Ginger seems the predominant spice (rather than cinnamon) upon first sip. Each sip has a sweet, smooth taste (despite not having any sugar in it yet) and a warming effect.
Certainly it’s exotic as well as pleasant and comforting, with all that ginger and cardamom, and manages to carve a unique flavor profile for itself rather than just being a run-of-the-mill “chai” flavor. I’m unsure where the sweetness is coming from–surely not the ginger or the cinnamon– but I suppose it could be from the black tea itself if it’s as high-quality as it seems.
Overall I’d say this tea is lively, warming, and full and rich without being cliche. It offers a bright flavor palette that’s not too spicy to enjoy. It’s great with milk and sugar too; they “muffle” the spices a bit, as expected, and enhance the richness of the black tea flavor.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
I, the glorious FireBird, am an imposing beast with the exotic complexity to guide you through a wild adventure of savory, sweet, spicy, and back again. Brace yourself if you think you are ready to experience the wonder of FireBird. I am a Spicy Masala Chai that leaves scorched remnants of other Chai teas far below my ferocious wings.
I am born of the meanest Indian Estate black tea available, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper & all spice. Where other Chai teas expect you to add milk and heaps of sweetener to balance the bitter taste of inferior ingredients, I stand alone as a unique masterpiece.
My elevated nature is most notable from the refusal of being satisfied with anything but the very best and strongest tasting Premium Indian Estate Tea available. This compliments the spices and will not dare be buried under them, but earthy decadence soaring ahead for the lingering trail of spice and flavor following on your pallet.
Feel the Burn. Love the taste.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!