Another new tea from today’s launch! The tasting notes on the others will have to wait, as I haven’t tried the remaining teas yet (I’m allergic to them) even though I’ve been around for their development from start to finish. Since I AM allergic I just want to try them each once in a controlled environment (and just sipping and spitting, not full cups) to get a sense of the taste, but I haven’t done that yet…
I’m not personally a big fan of this tea, because of the spices/chai profile, but I do think that from a purely concept based angle this is the strongest tea in the line up. If the collection is about a personalized “introvert/extravert” approach to recharging oneself, then this is on the “extravert” side. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I explained more thoroughly in my Blood Orange Boost tasting note – but basically this is from the half of the collection that is more stimulating and energizing. Even though it’s a low caffeine tea, a bunch of the ingredients in the blend are otherwise energizing/stimulating.
It’s also a really solid addition, albeit only seasonally, to the Pu’erh category because it’s so different then the rest of the teas in that section. Really, it’s very different from most of the other Chais we carry in general. Why is that? Well, it’s spicy!!
DT has a TON of more sweet or warming Chai blends, and the few that I do like (as someone who’s pretty anti spice) tend to fall in that sweeter or softer category. However, this is definitely for the spice lovers – the people who want HEAT from their chai! It’s a strong, bold and frankly intense level of spice coming from a rich mix of ginger, chili, and a gnarly cassia oil that kind of burns when you smell the dry leaf at close range. I’ve yet to, personally, be able to finish a full cup of this tea but my coworkers who really love strong spices have been slurping this back for a few months now by the pot. Interestingly, a lot of my male coworkers seem to be REALLY reaching for this one as well. I don’t really view Chai (or tea in general) and all that gendered, but I guess just based on the way I’ve seen coworkers interact with this tea is seems like it’s a bit more masculine/manly of a profile!?
The pu’erh is a nice choice for the base – you really need something full bodied to stand up to the spices. I think you get a slight earthiness in the cup, but more than anything the tea here is just adding much needed body to counterbalance everything else. There’s also cocoa in the tea, but I personally struggle to identify the flavour when it’s steeped compared to the assault of spicy elements. I think it would be easier to taste in a latte when more of those spices are muted. However, I also don’t think that you need to taste the chocolate to necessarily enjoy the tea; it’s not really the main selling point. If you want a chocolate chai there are other options, like S’mores Chai…
So – not my thing. Not my thing at all, but a cool/refreshing chai blend after so many sweeter ones. I’m stoked to read/listen to reviews as people try it!
EDIT: Forgot to mention, this has a very similar name to an old DT blend (Chai Guarana) but they are definitely different teas and this is not meant to be a direct recreation on that tea. It’s a different chai profile making use of the same stimulating ingredient.
Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.