Ok, so I impulse-bought this on the way into the office because the only thing I’m keeping permanently deskside at the moment is a pair of oolongs, and neither go with milk, and sometimes you just want something milky, and it was Monday morning, and I was weak.
I’m sure I should have checked the ingredients before buying, because I sure as heck don’t see any chunks of spices in this, as I’d expect in a chai – whole cloves, bits of cinnamon bark, ginger pieces, cardamom seeds, whatever – and the ingredients list reads “black tea, vanilla, spice, and syrup flavourings (26%).” Huh. Syrup flavouring?
Bananas. Oh my god, what’s with the bananas. This is the second time I’ve had something that calls itself a chai that my brain just tastes as lightly spicy bananas. Like, straight out of the bag I get this REALLY strong whiff of bananas. It smells like the tupperware of banana oat muffins I ate my way through last week. There is no mention of banana on the ingredients list. Why am I getting banana?
There’s a coffee shop in the city centre that does gorgeous coffee and lovely loose-leaf teas from a local company I’m normally fond of (indeed, their Bombay Chai has added bay leaf and tastes like it’s got whole spices in it) but I suspect this might well be what the cafe uses for their vanilla chai latte, because the banana-ness is identical.
Because it tastes like it’s supposed to be a banana tea when I drink it too, either that or somebody stuck a banana in the tea leaves and let it ripen. I’ve done it as per the package directions, hot and very milky, and it’s a bit sweet and creamy and there’s some spicy warmth, but not really any specific spices I can pick out. Maybe the syrup flavouring is uncannily like banana? I have no clue, but as a banana tea goes I’d probably still go for Bluebird’s Monkey Chops or Banana Bake from T2. And I wasn’t looking for a banana tea today, I was looking for a chai, so this is disappointing on all counts. It’s drinkable inasmuch as it’s sweet and milky and not wholly offensive, but man, it’s otherwise just kind of weird.