|" As with the black version, the distinctive peppery burn lingered on the tongue, reminding me of those Atomic Fireball candies (the round, red, potential choking hazard ones), sweet and fiery."|
Not long ago I reviewed Santa Cruz-based Up n’ Atom Brand’s Black Chai Tea and it knocked my socks off. I was so impressed that I wrote the company and asked for more samples. They kindly sent me a 6 oz package of their green tea version. Like the black, it’s a chunky, funky blend of Indonesian grown cinnamon and ginger, fancy green cardamom pods from Guatemala, cloves, allspice and black pepper. The only difference was the green tea base and the lack of Canadian coriander. The aroma was strong, rich, and spicy, with overtones of ginger and clove. Visually, the various ingredients were easily identified, as they are in large or whole pieces, including whole cardomom pods. However, like the black, the actual tea was all but invisible.
One cup brewing is not advised with this chai, which may be a drawback for those looking for a quick, last minute fix. Instead, the directions start with a gallon of water and a half cup of the chai mix. I cut it in half. Following directions, I brought the water to a boil and added a quarter cup of the chai mix, then set it to simmer for half an hour. (If you have company coming over and want your house to smell really nice and inviting, I recommend making this chai.) Optionally, vendor also suggests letting the brew stand for an additional six hours, which I did last time, but this time I decided to do a basic brew time and see what happened. This is a chai base, and will keep for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator, without added milk.
When it was done I strained it and tried a sip of the slightly cloudy coppery brew. As I said of the black, zowie! It was peppery, with a cinnamon and pepper bite, but lots of sweetness, too. You really could drink this one straight, if you wanted to. I prefer my chai doctored up with dairy and sugar, so I added a splash of half and half and two teaspoons of organic sugar. It was different, and good, but no improvement over the unadulterated article. As with the black version, the distinctive peppery burn lingered on the tongue, reminding me of those Atomic Fireball candies (the round, red, potential choking hazard ones), sweet and fiery. The only flavor missing is green tea. I think the longer steep I did with the black resulted in a slightly more mellow cup, but I can still really recommend this one.
As a side note, this company also makes tea-based soap, and sent me a bar of their green tea chai soap. It is full of chunky spices and smells just like the drink, but the flavor profile is quite different—soapier. Just kidding. But it’s really nice soap.
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