Here is another sample sipdown that I managed to squeeze in immediately after work today. I am normally not a huge chai fan, but given my overall faith in What-Cha’s range of offerings, figured this one would at least be worth a try. Naturally, it was.
I prepared this tea Western style. For this one, I went back to my trusty old one step infusion process. I steeped approximately 1.5-2 teaspoons of loose tea and spices in approximately 8 ounces of 212 F water for 5 minutes. Obviously, I did not attempt any additional infusions for this one.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf and spice blend emitted powerful aromas of ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and bay leaf backed by a hint of malt. After infusion, the spices evened out as typical Assam scents of wood, toast, malt, cream, and caramel emerged. In the mouth, there was an admirable balance of spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and bay leaf) and malt, cream, toast, caramel, wood, and molasses notes from the tea. The finish maintained this balance, only leaving lingering touches of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and malt on the back of the throat.
While the description above details my experience consuming this tea neat, I prepared it with an addition of milk earlier in the day. The milk really brought out the Assam base’s natural creaminess and maltiness, greatly taming the intensity of the spices. I did not add sugar or any other sweetener, however, so I have no clue how this blend would perform with any additional additives. Overall, my experience with this chai was a pleasant one. It was a little mellower than I was expecting, but that should not be read as a knock against it. Even though chai is still not quite my thing, I could definitely see those who enjoy the stuff liking this one. Just be aware that it is probably necessary to use both cream and sugar to really get the full effect from it.
Flavors: Caramel, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Ginger, Malt, Molasses, Spicy, Toast, Wood