Chai to Stay Dry! So this was a chai that had me very curious, so I had to include it on my last Tea Chai Te order. I told my best friend about it, as he is a huge houjicha fan, and he even decided to order some to try as well! He sampled his before I got to mine and said it was very good, so on this drizzly evening, I figured it was time to finally give it a try!
This is a houjicha blended with chai spices and dusted in matcha powder (the chai spices aren’t specified on the website, so I’ve done my best to identify what I could from my infuser after the matcha powder was washed away, but I may have missed some, either from my ignorance or not having all the ingredients in that particular serving).
This is definitely a unique chai! The houjicha base is a deep, woody, roasted flavor, but the matcha powder adds a grassiness that normally isn’t present in that sort of tea. The initial taste of spices I pick out are anise and licorice; it isn’t a strong, biting, sticky sweetness, but it adds enough sweetness that the matcha feels naturally sweet rather than having its typical vegetal bitterness. Toward the end of the sip, as the sweet licorice and matcha flavors fade, the robustness of the hojicha fills out and a burst of strong ginger and cardamom linger on the tongue, leaving behind just a slight bit of heat.
It’s an interesting juxtaposition between sweet and savory, and honestly, I’ve never had a chai like this before. I think anyone that likes houjicha and matcha should try it, for the unique experience if nothing else. This tea is fine plain, but I like it with just a dash of vanilla almond milk, just because I find a fuller, creamy mouthfeel suits it nicely. Even though the matcha powder on the tea leaves is only good for the first steep, it’s totally worth it to resteep the houjicha and spices and enjoy the tea sans matcha on a second steep to enjoy that flavor as well… it’s almost like getting two teas in one!
Flavors: Anise, Cardamom, Ginger, Grass, Licorice, Roasted, Spicy, Wood