|"This one rivals some of my favorite chai blends and I could taste creamy caramel notes once the milk and chai spices had a chance to unify. This is one delicious cup of chai."|
I am a chai girl and there aren't many chai blends that get sent in to Teaviews that I don't end up reviewing. In fact, that generally only happens when the samples get sent out to other reviewers before I put my next sample request in. I do have a couple of favorite vendors for chai and it would take an awful special chai blend to make me stray from them. This is largely due to the fact that I am picky about my chai. I largely prefer my chai paired with an Assam black tea base (check), a healthy amount of chai spices (check) and ingredients that are fresh and of a good quality (check). Because of my relative pickiness, I actually held off reviewing this one for a stretch because I had noted that another reviewer had tried it and really liked it. I'm so picky about my chai that I doubted that this one would earn a score even close to the one that she had given it and I wanted to give it a little time on Teaviews with a strong score before I came in and 'knocked it off it's pedastal' a bit. I am surprised and happy to report that this is a solid chai offering and that won't be happening today!
I've mentioned this in another review, but I find the Davidson's Tea website to be a bit cumbersome. Things just aren't laid out in the most user-friendly way. I did find it much easier to find this chai offering than I did the last blend that I reviewed. I also find it maddening that I don't know how much tea I am getting for a given price. That is a deal breaker for me. I really hope the good folks at Davidson's will make a few upgrades. I also only found partial brewing parameters for this tea. I prepared mine with water brought to a full and infused a healthy amount of the blend for almost 5 min. I am in the habit of trying my chai sans any milk so that I can get a feel for the tea base and spice load. The Assam tea base is rich and tastes to be of a pretty good quality. In my opinion, many tea bases fail to stand up to milk/cream, but I doubt that will be the case here. This one seems sturdy. The spice load/mix is tasty as well. It is dominated by the cinnamon and cardamom in my book, but the ginger does kinda creep up on you. They are just strong enough that you have to watch that they don't catch in the back of your throat. It should be noted that I didn't taste any pepper and that is fine with me.
As the instructions on the website indicated that you should add about 1/3 milk/cream to the cup, I waited to add some milk until I had imbibed close to a third of the cup. As suspected, the black tea base stood up very well to the addition of the milk. The spices actually surprised me and stood up a little better than expected! This one rivals some of my favorite chai blends and I could taste creamy caramel notes once the milk and chai spices had a chance to unify. This is one delicious cup of chai. If I had to pick it apart, I could stand a slightly stronger contribution from the ginger, but the ginger still holds it's own in the cup and builds heat in my mouth as I finish the cup. However, I like a strong ginger presence and I wouldn't call the presence strong in this blend.
Overall, this is a delicious cup of chai that can hold it's own with the best out there. It meets all my requirements for a tasty cup of chai----strong black tea base of a good quality, a healthy dose of fresh spices, and ingredients that taste of a good quality. If I can ever get over the Davidson's Tea website, I would consider ordering this the next time that I stock up on chai. That is even with the slight ginger shortcoming (in my opinion---I'm sure others will find it perfectly mixed in terms of spice). Thumbs up!
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