Review: Canton Tea Co. Canton Chai

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co., Chai Tea, Clove Tea, Ginger Tea, Orange Tea, Pepper Tea, Yunnan Tea Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"This is certainly a subtle approach to a spiced tea. Even the black tea base itself is surprisingly gentle on the taste buds."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: MaryAnn gave it 8.2/10, Jamie gave it 6/10, Shaiha gave it 8.7/10
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I have become pretty familiar with Canton Tea offerings, which are typically natural (as in un-flavored) teas. So I was quite surprised to see a chai-esque blend in my sample offerings. Although this tea is called Chai, it is not in an strict sense a true Indian chai. For starters, in place of the Indian Assam tea that is typically used as the base of a traditional chai tea, this one uses Chinese Yunnan and Bai Lin Gong Fu teas. And while traditional chai usually consists of some combination of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and pepper, this offering deviates a bit, usin instead green cardamon, cassia bark, ginger, orange peel, cloves, and green peppercorns. Upon opening my sample, I have to say that I was wholly impressed at the seemingly high quality of ingredients. There were no small pieces in this blend, only impressively large pieces that could really only be described as 'chunks'. I took a sniff of the tea and found that the ginger, cloves, and peppercorn come out as the most noticeable ingredients in the aroma arena. I followed the Canton preparation recommendations (infusing the leaves for approximately three minutes in 200-ish degree water). Given the abundance and size of spicy ingredients in this tea, I was expecting a pungently flavored tea. In reality, the tea was very mild in its flavor, so much so that I was straining to actually taste some of the flavors. I personally like a strong and spicy Chai, and this is very different from what I like and what I expected. This is certainly a subtle approach to a spiced tea. Even the black tea base itself is surprisingly gentle on the taste buds. I would recommend experimenting with a higher tea-to-water ratio to get a stronger flavor (but my sample was too small for me to do so myself). I think it was the large size of the spices/fruits, with which I was initially so impressed, that account for the weak flavor of this tea. Perhaps if the pieces were broken down a bit smaller, flavors could have been coaxed out during steeping a bit easier. I rated this a 6 because as chai teas go, this really is on the very mild (almost diluted) end of the flavor spectrum. I am a big fan of Canton Tea Company and I think this is one of the few teas they offer that hasn't been a big winner with me.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Canton 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.

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