This one sounds like your average chai – cardamom, clove, ginger & black pepper. It’s on a CTC black base, which seems to be the modus operandi for Vahdam. I’m not a fan of it myself, really, but I can see that it creates a base sturdy enough to stand up to heavy spicing. It’s also fairly nondescript, which I suppose makes sense when the spices are supposed to be the star.
This one is nicely spicy, but I could still stand stronger. I don’t think I’ve found a chai yet that quite meets my expectations in that regard. There’s a nice balance of spices here, though – I can taste the cardamom, clove, ginger and (hallelujah!) black pepper – each clear and distinct. I don’t mind the base, although admittedly I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. It’s just there – and that’s my point. It’s not a distraction from the spices, which are allowed to shine. Maybe that’s how it should be.
I like this one. It’s the first chai I’ve drank in a while where I’ve been able to taste the black pepper, and I love that. It’s also one of the more memorable teas from Vahdam’s chai sampler, and that’s saying something because there have been some memories!