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!

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Tea has always been a passion of mine, though I got away from it during college. A lack of cupboard space and a constant influx of people into my suite made me pretty much abandon my teas at home. But now that I’m done with school, it’s definitely come back with a vengeance—to the point where I’ve purchased about 65 different kinds in the past 3 months!

I like most kinds of teas—yes, even peach, which I used to think I disliked!. Oolongs are definitely my favorite, and I’m an avid fan of earl grey, floral teas, and chai blends along with anything melon. The only kind of teas on my “no” list are rooibos blends (which gives me headaches) and banana flavored ones since bananas are public enemy #1 in my mind.

The best thing about tea for me is how you can be passionate about it and still have it integrate into all of your other hobbies. I like a lot of things: writing, video games, books, sewing, figure collecting, astronomy… it’s a long list. But whatever I’m doing, I can have a cup of tea in hand!


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