|"This cup is surprisingly balanced; the Laoshan Black provides a malty chocolate background for the spices. The ginger is not overpowering, it provides a nice bite and is coupled by the tang of tulsi. The spiciness of the peppercorns and fennel are then noticed paired with the fruitiness of goji berry and elderberry.
Verdant uses the He Family Farm’s Laoshan Black tea as a base and goes beyond your average chai ingredients adding tulsi (holy basil), cinnamon, ginger, galangal (thai ginger), fennel, peppercorn, vanilla bean, saffron, goji berries, clove, and elderberry. What comes from this combination is a deep cup full of flavor layered on top of one another. I brewed one tablespoon of leaves in 6 ounces of boiling water and steeped for 4-5 minutes. The smell of fennel, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon quickly reaches my nose, such a bright awakening scent. The liquor is amber gold and the scent of the leaves themselves is similar to ginger-bread, especially if you move the leaves around under your nose to get the full scent.
This cup is surprisingly balanced; the Laoshan Black provides a malty chocolate background for the spices. The ginger is not overpowering, it provides a nice bite and is coupled by the tang of tulsi. The spiciness of the peppercorns and fennel are then noticed paired with the fruitiness of goji berry and elderberry.
This chai is what I look for, there are so many typical run of the mill chai teas out there, though they are good in and of themselves, you can’t really put down tradition, but for those that are bored with your average chai Verdant’s Laoshan Village Chai is one to put on your list. They have recently created a whole page dedicated to chai and offer a chai kit in which you mix yourself (sounds like a fun gift) as well as another, Chai Spice, a caffeine- free version of the Laoshan Village Chai. Their caffeine free version can also be used in combination with Laoshan Black, as discussed, Yu Li Yan Cha, or Anxi Fo Shou Black. It would be interesting to see how all these different bases accentuate the spices.
Overall I’d rate this chai a 9.0, unique, flavorful, and full of depth and curiosity. Not to mention all of their herbs and spices included are certified organic.
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