Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Stauf’s Tea House/Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
Smooth balance of crisp tea flavors, palate lingering and warming spices, and cleansing tannins. Light spicy finish with a hint of fruitiness.
Learn more about this chai here.
You know me, I love chai, and I’m always eager to try a new chai (or perhaps I should say: new to me chai). So, when one of my tea drinking comrades offered to send me some of this chai from Stauf’s, I was more than happy to take him up on his offer.
And now that I’m drinking this chai, I’m so happy that he offered me this opportunity. This is an excellent chai! It is richly spiced and yet it has a smooth delivery. It is neither too spicy, nor is it too subtle. I’d say it falls somewhere between the two extremes, leaning more toward the spicy than the subtle. While I do enjoy a spicy chai, I like that this one has achieved a balance between spice and flavorful tea.
The tea base is a blend of Ceylon and Assam, which brings me back to my own tea blending days as the tea base that I used for my Masterpiece Chai was a blend of Ceylon and Assam. I like that Stauf’s chose to combine these two teas, as it gives the tea base a strong tone that it needs as well as a little complex character. The tea is strong enough to stand up and be tasted amongst the powerful flavors of the spices, but it doesn’t become bitter or throw the flavor off in any way. It tastes smooth yet rich and bold.
And then there are the spices! When I first started sipping, I noticed the cinnamon right away. And the cinnamon remained the strongest note through the first couple of sips… but now that I am more than half-way finished with my cup, the other spice flavors have emerged and seem to have an equal amount of the palate’s attention.
I can taste the cardamom! It gives the cup a very pleasing warmth and hint of citrus-y flavor. I can taste the cloves. I can taste the pepper and the ginger, but I like that these two have not been added with too heavy a hand. It has a peppery background note that seems to perk up the palate but never becomes too overpowering.
Stauf’s has achieved a very pleasing balance here, not just with the spices, but also with the tea base. The result: a fantastic cup of chai that is delicious served straight up (a small amount of turbinado sugar will enhance the spices without making it too sweet) as well as served as a latte! YUM! This one gets high praise from me.