Review of Rooibos Chai (Formerly Ruby Chai)

9 of 105 of 54 of 586 of 100
SuperbExcellentGood Value

For some reason, I've had a hard time assigning high values to teas lately, being on a remarkable run of sampling products hovering within +/- 20 percentage points of mediocrity. Not anymore! This one's a clear winner, folks.

While not the strongest chai I've had, it's more than potent enough to offset straight rooibos' haystraw aspect (usually a negative for me) while leaving in the positives. This tea also tastes and smells most heavily toward the cinnamon component, even though that is sixth on the ingredients list behind rooibos, cloves, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg. Fortunately I like cinnamon! Cardamom is last -- yet if I try, I can taste (or aftertaste) that, and any of the above. What a great balance. A local Indian restaurant serves a wonderful, spiced, iced house tea that's a little stronger on cardamom, and though I drank this Numi blend hot, this is the closest I've found commercially to that.

A distinctive, mottled sheen swims atop the steeped brew, the only plausible source being essential oils from some of the spices in the chai mix. This is a positive statement, as their ability to release the oils so readily shows that the spices weren't overprocessed or left to dry too long. Before this, I've only noticed oil droplets or sheens atop some of the better mint teas.

Although I'm chopping a notch off the "value" rating due to the pricey variety pack within which this came, I would buy a 20-bag box (if such a thing exists) for nearly the same price, as a fine way to indulge in the festive flavor of a good chai with the micro-nutritive benefits of rooibos.

[EDIT on 24 Aug 2021] The boxes sold in stores are 18-packs instead of 20-packs now. So you know for full disclosure/cost-benefit purposes...

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