Stephen’s Teaview Snapshot
|"A strong, but not overpowering, blend of spices results in what may just possibly be the perfect Chai tea. Dash some sugar and milk in there, and you've got a sure cure for the winter chills."|
|Stephen’s Teaview:|| 9/10|
||Lea gave it 3/10
|Your Reviews:|| 9/10|
|1 reader review | Add your review »|
Those who have followed some of my older posts know that I’m something of a tea purist (or minimalist, depending on how you look at it). I never add milk. I never add sweetener. I never add ginger crystals, cinnamon shavings, powdered zen or any of the myriad other various tea products that litter the market. I like the crisp, clean taste of tea – and only tea – in my cuppa.
With one exception.
Chai tea is one of those early tea-loves of mine that I’ve never quite shook off. It first hit the markets in a big way in the mid-90s, so when my high-school buddies were hitting Starbucks for their low-fat-mocha-lattes, I had my own personal taste of exotica in my indian spiced chai. As a rule it was mainly a wintertime drink for me, something to warm the bones and redden the skin and get you ready to face the crisp temperatures of a North-Eastern February.
Of course, chai is one of those teas that you really can’t drink straight. Well, you can, but its not a very pleasurable experience. The heavy use of spices makes a teaspoon of sugar and splash of milk practically a requirement. And so its always been for me. The one “sugary little secret” hidden away by me, the tea purist. My wife always raises an eyebrow when she sees me reaching for the sugar bowl when preparing my cuppa, as if armageddon itself were about to follow soon after. “Nope, just chai,” I say, and she nods and understands.
So – Stash’s Double Spice Chai.
This is one of those happy little accidents (copyright, Bob Ross) for me, in that I hadn’t actually planned on ordering it. But Stash, clever marketers as they are, decided to throw up a last minute impulse ad at the end of their shopping cart – “Would you like to add 10 bags of double-spice chai for just $1.00?” Heck, I’ll try almost anything for 10 cents a bag, plus it was getting close to wintertime, so …. *CLICK*
The aroma when you tear open the bag is heavily spiced, almost worryingly so. Even worse, when you pull the actual teabag out it looks like some kind of mad-scientist experiment, with this indeterminant green hue staining the cloth and practically oozing out of the bag. You almost want to use serving-tongs and protective glovewear just to dip it into your teacup. “Here we go,” I thought. “Another case of too much of a good thing. This is just way too much spice – no way will it be drinkable.”
One of these days I may actually learn that my gut reaction to things is generally wrong 95% of the time.
It was delicious! With a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of milk, this became one of the best chai experiences I’ve ever had. The heavy use of spices, while still somewhat strong in the flavor is not nearly as overpowering as you might expect from the aroma. Its all quite nicely blended – so nicely, in fact, that you’d be hard-pressed to individually identify all of the various spices contained within*. They all just sort of meld together into one indefinite spicy goodness, with a nice little twang at the end to remind you that there’s a healthy dose of cardamom in there.
I’m hardly a chai fanatic, but there are times when nothing else will hit the spot. And for me, Stash’s Double Spice Chai is spot-on. I’m sure I’ll order another box of this in the future.
* For those who are curious, Stash’s ingredients are: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, cardamom and coriander.