|"On its own, Firepot Chai's chocolate chai encapsulate warmth and repose. The immediate note of each sip stems from the tea's cocoa nibs, and while there's nothing sweet about them, they will provide an interesting and detectable "chocolatey-ness.""|
I’m not a huge fan of chai; there, I’ve already admitted it, yet here you are, scrolling over a review meant to provide meaningful and reliable insight into a specific and ultimately unique chai tea. Rest assured, I’ve had many varieties albeit comparably slim to those more enthusiastic towards some liquored sweet and spice.
Predictably, I’ve never purchased anything from Firepot Chai, a Nashville-based company providing organic spices and Fair Trade teas from communities in India and Africa that the Firepot team has known for over a decade. Of the company’s very limited selection of products is an intriguing chocolate chai harmoniously providing a classic chai blend with an eye-catching addition of cacao nibs.
Starting at the highest points of the review, a tea latte or cup of flavored milk with a teaspoon or two of Firepot’s chocolate chai is insanely scrumptious, especially when sweetened. Of the many thick, frothy, and perfectly sugary lattes made from my Frabosk milk frother, my few from this blend were arguably objectively incomparable. Upon memory inspection, I just couldn’t think of any other tea latte that packed as much flavor in each and every sip.
Notes of the blend are balanced as well, which is difficult to do with any chai tea. Too often I’ve paid the price of excessively spicy or eccentric blends that promise everything but. Firepot’s chocolate chai, however, apparently has a little bit more figured out. In fairness, this is probably due to the fact that nothing in the blend could even pretend to be genuine leaves of the Camellia sinensis and the lack of such leaves do not invite the temptation to overcompensate (with various spices) for the boldness and astringency of what is almost always black tea.
The aroma pre-brewing is prominently earthy and not so chocolatey given the obvious lack of sweetness of the cacao nibs, but I did expect a richer aroma despite my small sample size. When steeped, the blend gives off its spicier notes in the ensuing aroma and the cacao nibs are more prominent. Yet for some reason, taking in these various scents all at once does not exactly provide the most pleasant experience, especially for a chai. I wouldn’t go as far to say the tea smelled musty or anything of the sort, but the individual ingredients meld together into something downright funky.
On its own, Firepot Chai’s chocolate chai encapsulates warmth and repose. The immediate note of each sip stems from the tea’s cocoa nibs, and while there’s nothing sweet about them, they will provide an interesting and detectable “chocolatey-ness.” Downing the liquor brings the bulk of the spiciness down with it, but it is not too much for the throat to handle. Impressively, the chai is just peppery enough to not be washed out by milky and sugary additives, nor is it too much so to be frustratingly harsh. As with many luscious-sounding teas, this one is a bit thin, perhaps primarily due to the lack of ingredients.
In all, this somewhat novel chai is within the range of hopeful expectations, but its simplistic nature can only stretch so far. When made into a tea latte, the brew of Firepot Chai’s chocolate chai is practically unparalleled. Don’t expect the unadulterated infusion to “wow” you, but it proves to be more than serviceable. For the aforementioned reasons, a favorable recommendation is well deserved.
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