I think a lot of people have one ingredient that can ruin chai for them. With so many powerful spices in the mix, it’s no surprise! For some it’s ginger, or black pepper. For me, it’s cinnamon. It’s a spice I am very sensitive to if it’s not cinnamon bark—cinnamon flavoring reminds me of Big Red gum, and I find it way too overwhelming. In fact, it makes me a little nauseous.
Sadly, this blend has a LOT of cinnamon. Funny, because their other chai/chai blend (samurai mate and white whatever) smells much more cinnamon-y but is lighter in flavor. I placed an order at Teavana for just those chais when they were about 40% off and got an ounce of this blend as well. Of course I ended up adoring the other chai/chai and placed a second order for more (and like 7 other teas) during their Heavenly sale and got ANOTHER one ounce sample of this. Meaning I now have 2 ounces pretty much, funny that they are so generous with the samples. I was kind of hoping I’d love this one too, but alas.
At first sip it’s really nice: clove and nutmeg. There’s almost no ginger or cardamom though, which are my favorite chai spices. And while it says there is pineapple in the blend, it’s not really fruity at all like the samurai/white blend which had double fruit. It’s just… a kind of regular chai with too much cinnamon. The oolong/mate mix does add something extra, like a layer of richness, but honestly I can’t get past the cinnamon abuse. It’s drinkable, but I doubt I am ever going to think “man I could go for a cup of this tea.” This one just isn’t for me—which is fine, because I have 8 ounces of the other (better) one to tide me over until the next sale!