This is one of the more straightforward blends from the Vadham chai sampler; for some reason, I seem to have saved those until last! I quite like cardamom, so this should be okay.
Like some of the other blends from the sampler, this one has a CTC base, with lots of whole and crushed cardamom pods. As you might expect, it brews up really quickly. I’d say it definitely needs milk.
To taste, it’s significantly smoother than I expected, although that’s probably mostly a result of my own prejudices – not all CTCs are equal, after all. Some are more equal than others, and this is one of them.
Did it just get a little Orwellian around here? Just me, maybe.
The cardamom is very prominent, also as you might expect. It strikes a nice balance, though, and isn’t too harsh. The base tea is nicer than I expected; malty and fairly sweet. I expected it to be on the tannic side, maybe even verging on bitter/astringent, but it’s none of those things desipte the fact that I left it at least four minutes because I got distracted. By work, of all things.
The cardamom pretty much overpowers any other spices, but if you like cardamom then that’s going to be okay – and you probably wouldn’t have bought this blend if you didn’t. The overall flavour isn’t what I think of as chai, but it’s a solid cardamom flavoured black. There are worse things in the world.