Onyx Gochujang Chai

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Black Chai Blend
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Edit tea info Last updated by Roswell Strange
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From Onyx Coffee Lab

This organic chai is a distinctly unique Onyx blend that starts with a base of single estate black tea from Iyerpadi Estate, one of the highest tea estates in the world nestled in the Nilgiris, the “Blue Mountains” of Southern India. The featured spices include ginger root, cinnamon, cardamom pods, clove, lemon-grass, and Gochugaru, a sun-dried Korean red pepper. The brewed tea is a balance of savory heat and warm sweetness, producing the ultimate cup of chai with a full body and delicate lingering spice notes. Very enjoyable on its own and comforting when paired with your favorite milk.

The name “chai” is technically the Hindi word for “tea”, which was derived from “cha”, or the Chinese word for “tea”. Commonly, chai represents a mix of spices steeped into a tea-like beverage, and the exact recipes for chai will vary greatly across continents and cultures. We experimented with different spices seeking to balance our favorite elements of chai between heat, sweetness and flavor. Coincidentally, we had already been working with gochugaru, a sun-dried Korean red pepper, to create a house version of a delicious red chili paste, called gochujang. Inspired by the gochujang, we introduced the same pepper into this chai blend to combine its complex flavors of spicy, sweet and slight smokiness alongside more traditional chai spices of ginger root, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and lemongrass.

Black tea is oxidized more than oolong, white and green teas, meaning that after plucking and withering, the tea leaves are rolled, crushed, chopped, or otherwise bruised to spur oxidation to 90-100%. Temperature, humidity and other factors affecting oxidation are tightly controlled before drying. The resulting brew will be stronger in flavor and usually a deep reddish color. Many Asian countries name this a “red tea” after the color of the tea liquor after steeping.

The pyramid tea sachets are designed to give the tea leaves ample room to unfurl & expand as they steep. These sachets are made from PLA Mesh (NeoSoilon®) material that is derived from 100% non-GMO sugar cane. Each sachet is pre-dosed so you can enjoy a great cup of tea at your convenience.

Hot (8oz)
Tea: 3g (1 sachet)
Water: 8oz
Water Temp: 205°F
Total Brew Time: 5 min

About Onyx Coffee Lab View company

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1 Tasting Note

15429 tasting notes

I wanted to like this so much because the concept of a gochujang chai is honestly so fucking cool and that flavour seems wildly complimentary to most of the more traditional leaning spice mixes used in chai. I got even more excited when I took a closer look at the dry leaf within the sachets because visually I could see a pretty significant amount of the bright red Korean pepper flakes scattered throughout the tea.

Steeped it’s… whelming.

Personally, I think this company took an absolutely 11/10 concept and played it super safe in terms of actually conveying the flavour. The sort of thing from companies who, like, put basil in the name of a tea because it’s a cool, trending herb but then list it as the last ingredient and drown the taste out with other flavours because they worry that people will be off put by the herbaceousness. Like, if I’m buying a tea called gochujang chai then I want to taste the fucking gochujang! Don’t get conservative on me! I’ve already bought into your super innovative, trendy and foodie-forward concept.

…with all of that said, it’s a perfectly lovely chai if you’re not specifically seeking out the gochujang. The tea base is exceptional and you can tell a lot of care has gone into sourcing high quality, fresh spices. Amazing aroma, good heat, and really well balanced sans that one ingredient. With the lemongrass inclusion and the focus on cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom it almost feels a little more Thai influenced over Korean. If Onyx had set a different expectation (re: new name/less emphasis on the gochujang) I think this review would have been much, much more favorable.

Oh well.


I don’t think anybody likes to feel like they’ve been cheated, or “taken for a ride “or “played”, all of which seem to apply here. Why the heck take a perfectly good tea and pretend of something that it’s not? It’s like catfishing.


I’m a little uncertain about the cardamom and clove (the latter of which makes me very nervous in a tea because it tends to completely take over—as perceived by my palate, anyway), but the brightness of lemongrass and the warmth of the spices and the heat of the pepper sounds like a really intriguing blend. I had to add this one to my wish list, thank you!

Roswell Strange

Totally get you with the clove – it’s a polarizing taste for sure. In my experience, it is definitely one of those spices that a lot of people think they dislike (not dismissing/minimizing that feeling) but that they often don’t quite notice until someone points it out. For example, clove is a key spice in most pumpkin spice products and I don’t know how many people I’ve had tell me they HATE clove but LOVE pumpkin spice.


It’s great in moderation. I don’t dislike it, per se, I just don’t like it hogging the spotlight. In recent tastings, when there’s clove, I can’t seem to taste anything else. Y’know?


Nik – – I don’t mind a hint of clove but I am with you…enough is enough and don’t give me too much! Clove is pretty bossy. Same with ginger. Put enough to make it sparkle but not enough to burn.

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