Review: California Tea House Chocolate Chai

California Tea House, Chai Tea, Chicory Root Tea, Chocolate Tea, Clove Tea, Ginger Tea, Orange Peel Tea, Pepper Tea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I really loved the warm tickle of spice that resonated in the back of my throat after every sip and the good, hearty chocolate taste. "
Jamie’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Chelsy gave it 9.4/10, Vanessa gave it 8.8/10, JennH gave it 8.4/10
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This is a pretty spectacular looking caffeine free chai blend. Comprised entirely of spices, herbs, root and chocolate, it's a veritable potpourri full of whole cloves, fat pink peppercorns, whole pods of cardamom, ginger chunks, chips of orange peel, chocolate nibs and what I discovered in the ingredient list to be pieces of chicory root. The melange has an earthy dark appearance with bursts of color and offers a rich, full smell of chocolate spiciness. The clove, ginger and the pepper work nicely with the chocolate and make for an intriguing pairing.

Following CTH's preparation suggestions, I used a tablespoon of the blend per 8 ounces of water. I mixed a double serving so that I could enjoy my mug alongside my husband. Due to the predominance of cloves in the mix (I'm not a lover of abundant clove), I allowed a 5 minute steep rather than the suggested 7 to 10. The chai steeps to a slightly opaque chocolate brown color with a slight foam on top. The smell is rather exciting! Chocolate is prevalent but equally so is a thrilling sort of spiciness owing to the ginger and peppercorn. Even as it simmered, Shawn called out from the other room "Wow, that's really fragrant!"

I poured out two cups sans milk and we sat down to enjoy them. The clove had intensified in the steeping, and made a definite contribution to the blend. My major disappointment with the mix was that the abundance of clove made for a slight bitterness and sort of residual taste in the mouth that I found slightly unpleasant. I think this effect could be tempered by manually removing some of the clove before steeping. The cloves are whole and fat, it would be easy to remove a few if you wanted to step down some of that strong flavor. In all other regards, I wholly enjoyed this tasty blend. It's pretty masterful. What I liked about this chai is the interplay between the spices and the chocolate. Neither is over powering but each is fully represented. The tea had a textural quality that made me think of a chocolate gingerbread or a spicy cookie. The ginger and pepper are big players in terms of donating a warming, persistent spice to the mix, the clove, despite lingering longer than I prefer, is actually very well nuanced in general. I really loved the warm tickle of spice that resonated in the back of my throat after every sip and the good, hearty chocolate taste. The chocolate is always a part of the taste but not so sweet or bold that it's simply a chocolate tisane. In fact, this blend is truly a spicy chai featuring chocolate. I found this a novel and delicious chai blend that I would recommend to those who enjoy warming chai blends. Chocolate lovers should consider applying as well!

— To purchase California Tea House Chocolate Chai, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Jamie Jamie
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