This week, I've been sampling Adagio's new Chai teas. The first thing I have to say about them is - don't expect to drink them in a traditional manner. None of them are strong enough to stand up with milk and honey, sadly. This leaves me still "wanting" the perfect, non-bagged chai. I'm afraid I'm not going to find it though. I'll note my favorite chai to date at the end of the post (teaser, no?).
Here are my basic impressions of the Adagio chai's I tried (sans milk & honey after I figured out they couldn't handle it):
Masala Chai - Good flavor, naturally sweet with cinnamon & cloves. Just a basic, average spiced tea.
Spiced Apple Chai - One of my favorites out of the bunch...the addition of apples made it more like tea's version of apple cider. I really liked it quite a bit, and with a pinch of sugar, it could easily substitute for apple cider.
Thai Chai - The spiciest of the bunch, I think, and my other favorite of this group. Very tangy, and has a lot of character. I'll keep this on hand - it will be great on cold winter days
Chocolate Chai - Maybe it's just me, but I don't see the point. The chocolate does smooth out the blend (much like when you add chocolate to chili), and adds a rich component, but it's not "chocolatey" as per say (which I think would be odd anyway).
There's a Vanilla Rooibos Chai too that I haven't tried yet - teas without caffiene tend to be put on the backburner around here until I'm in the mood for a cup late at night (and not too lazy to make one). It sure smells good though.
So now it's confession time - a secret that will make fellow tea snobs cringe with shock and horror. My favorite Chai of all time so far?
Stash Chai Spice Tea
I know! I'd actually forgotten about this until I rooted around in my neglected tea chest the other day, and found a bag. Yes, a *bag*. Stash is one of the first companies I ever bought tea from. We don't have much in the grocery stores here, so I'd order it online. That's way back when I started drinking tea, of course, back when teabags were really all I knew about. And I still have quite a few Stash bags in my tea chest, languishing under the weight of my loose tea tins now.
Seriously though? Stash Chai is strong, spicy, and it was heaven the first time I brewed up a big mug with milk & honey. Cinnamon roll in a cup, I call it, and I've been looking for a loose tea equivalent ever since. I still haven't found one. But I'll keep looking, tea snob that I am.