Friday, 20 June 2008

Chai tea review

I have been drinking a lot of chai this week, mainly at work because I took in some T2 chai tea bags, so I thought it might be fun to do a series of chai tea reviews, as I currently have 2 different kinds of chai and will soon (hopefully, when my order arrives, finally) have another one as well.

So, what can I say about the T2 chai? This is their regular, common or garden blend of chai, available loose or in those little silky bags (which are apparently so bad for the environment, unfortunately). On opening the box or tin the scent is very fragrant, a bit sweet (cinnamon?) and with a strong small of cloves. There are whole cardamom pods in there as well, but I doubt they’ll be adding noticeably much to the flavour unless you bother to crush them and then make a decoction, which is not an option for me here at work in any event. There are also little bits of ginger and cinnamon stick, star anise as well I think, and the tea used is a moderate sized twisty leaf, type not specified (maybe Assam, that’s meant to be the proper kind to use for making chai, or so I’ve heard anyway).

A little further info on how I brewed it: at work options are limited, so this is how I’ve been going about it. I put 2 teabags in my little teapot (holds approx.. 2 cups) and fill the pot 2/3 with boiling water. Then I warm some milk in the microwave for a few seconds and add it to the teapot. Let it steep for five minutes or so, and drink (preferably with the addition of chai sprinkles, naturally).

So how does it taste? It’s actually a teeny bit disappointing. The main thing in this one is really the cloves and star anise (if I’m identifying that correctly). The cloves tend to overpower almost all of the other favours and to leave your tongue a little numb, into the bargain. It produces a fairly pale brew, or at least it does when made this way, anyhow. It feels a bit ‘thin’ in the mouth as well, although that may also have something to do with the fact that I’ve been using low-fat milk to make it.

Overall I have to say that this is not one which I would buy again, although I will of course use it all up.

Stand by for the next exciting instalment of Chai Tea Reviews: Hari Har Chai ‘Chocolate Chai’

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