Review of India's Original Masala Chai

8 of 105 of 55 of 583 of 100

A traditional chai that is smooth in flavor but is potently spiced, and equally enjoyable with and without milk.

For having such a finely-broken (CTC) base, this tea is surprisingly mellow and smooth. The dry leaf smells very fresh and light, and the dominant aroma is cardamom, and I can also detect clove. This bodes well for me--as cardamom is my favorite spice for chai, and many commercial blends skimp on it as it is the priciest of the spices usually put into these blends.

Brews up a rich cup which has a creamy aroma, almost hinting at vanilla or milk, even before adding any milk, and also has a strong cardamom smell. I also can notice cinnamon and clove.

The astringency in this cup is muted by the spices. This tea leaves a pleasant tingling sensation on the palate, especially noticeable if brewed without milk, but also noticed when I drunk it with milk--presumably this is from the clove, possibly other spices. I like it.

I was surprised at how little milk changed this blend. Often, adding milk weakens the tea, blunting or even completely eliminating most of the astringency and bitterness, blurring the aroma, and leaving mellow teas tasting bland and indistinct. But this tea's aromatic qualities and boldness shined through even with milk.

This was one of my favorite pre-blended chai's ever. I think I may still be partial to Rishi Tea's blend, but this one is a close contender.

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