A tea friend and I rather randomly ended up at Calabash Tea Bar & Cafe last time I was in D.C. The owner of this gorgeous cafe is an herbalist, so the blends focus on the medicinal value of tea, herbs, and spices. It started raining just as we got there, so we decided to settle in and stay a while. I’m so glad we did. We got to try several of their teas and both fell in love with this one (though really, who could resist Idris?). I ended up buying this and the anti-inflammatory Triple Goddess blend to take home.
I have brewed this tea a few times now. I always brew it hot – it just seems wrong to drink a chocolate chai iced. My favorite way to enjoy it is with a splash of chocolate almond milk, which turns this into a creamy chocolate bit of heaven in a cup. Even without any additions, the chocolate flavor is rich with a bit of the bite that dark chocolate has. The most dominant chai spice here is clove, but it is not overwhelming. I’m also picking up maltiness from the base tea, cinnamon, and a hint of citrus (though I am not at all certain that there is either cinnamon or anything citrusy in the blend). The clove, malt, and chocolate notes linger after the sip, with the clove lingering longest because of that tingling sensation clove can cause. This blend can be steeped a second time, though it loses the cocoa notes and comes out a tad watery. Some almond milk fixes that right up though.
Overall, this makes for a great fall tea that doesn’t require milk but does benefit from it.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Calabash Tea
Add an extra dash of spice makes Calabash’s Hot Chocolate Chai a delight!. This organic chai is strong, spicy, sweet and unapologetic about waking you up for a lil’ lovin’ in your cup. INGREDIENTS: The highest quality Assam Black Tea, Cocoa Powder, Chai Spices, Chocolate Buttons & lots of love.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
So today was the first day I broke out my leather jacket. I don’t get cold so that means this morning’s weather has finally reflected the season. Cold weather means certain flavors take center stage. Of course pumpkin spice is one but among tea drinkers, the spices of a nice chai really scream Fall. And what’s the best way to have a chai? As a latte, of course.
Now chai is something hard to get right because it is a mix of various spices. Different people like more of one spice and less of another so a chai that pleases everyone is hard to find. For instance, I am not a cardamom lover so cardamom pods in my tea makes me a little apprehensive. This tea was no exception. However, though I am getting a fair amount of cardamom flavor here, it isn’t taking over. Would I like a little less cardamom? Yes, but that’s my personal preference.
The surprise to me in this cup is the actual spice kick you get when drinking it. My tea is diluted among the milk of the latte and yet I am still getting some of that cayenne hitting me, which is rather impressive since 9 times out of 10, I don’t taste the hot spice in plain teas, let alone a latte.
Right there with the cayenne is a dark cocoa note. It reminds me of the chocolate tasting party we had for my sister’s bachelorette party in which melted dark chocolate was mixed with a bunch of different flavors and we had to guess what each chocolate cup was mixed with. The cayenne and dark chocolate was the only one we could actually pick out since its flavor is so distinctive. 52 Tea’s captures that nicely. With that said, I probably wouldn’t say no to a little more of that chocolate note.
The other flavors such as the cinnamon and ginger add to the overall tea. Rather than standing out on their own, they are acting in a way that puts emphasis on the other flavors. The ginger, for example, helps the cayenne give that spicy kick to the back of the throat.
This was a surprise for me since I don’t usually love chocolate in teas or chais and yet I found this to be quite enjoyable. With this tea, you get what you are being promised: a Mayan Chocolate Chai.