Monday, November 17, 2014

Depravitea: Keep Calm And Chai On, A Tea Review

I swear I have had the attention span of a marmot today (I actually have no idea how their attention span is) it has been all over the place. Not really sure why I assume that marmots have really scattered attention spans, but it just works for me. It all started with mom's landlord unexpectedly deciding to work on the water, with no warning, so on and off all day we had no water. My day was thrown off the moment I was unable to get a shower this morning, I am just glad I filled my kettle up before the water popped off.

Today's tea comes from a company whose whole persona (do tea companies have personas?) really fits with a certain side of my personality most of my readers don't see. The very sarcastic, raunchy, foul mouthed...I would even go so far as to say, depraved side! Depravitea's Keep Calm And Chai On is probably their most tame tea, description wise, so perhaps it is the best to start with as an introduction to this company's oeuvre. This particular chai is a blend of black teas, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, anise seeds (all organic) and natural spice flavor. Opening the little pouch and whoa, that is a kick in the face of sweet cinnamon, after that initial spice punch there is a mellow blend of cardamon and anise. I love the anise, it is one of my favorite things to have in tea, mmm licorice, so bravo for that. The base tea is rich and a bit malty, this is a surprisingly sweet chai, which I like.

Brewing the tea turns the tea area into a crazy spice emporium, seriously so much cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, with just a pinch or anise. It smells like my favorite aisle in the Indian market I haunt on occasion (ok, I only haunt it when visiting my mom.) There are also sweet molasses and malty notes that are hiding under the spice explosion, after the proverbial dust clears, you get a good sniff of the base tea.  The liquid is creamy and sweet, and this is pre-milk and sugar, lots of spices and molasses with a touch of malt, surprisingly balanced spices.

For all the super spices in the wet leaves, this chai is politely mellow. I admit I was expecting a powerful punch of cinnamon and cloves, but instead I get a balanced warmth of the 'spicy' spices and an only slightly milder caress of cardamon. I always feel like cardamon is like a caress, like a headrub when you have a splitting headache, I really like cardamon. The anise is also present, it sneaks in at the finish, along with the molasses and malty blend of the base black tea. The aftertaste leaves my mouth feeling tingly from the spices, along with a sweetness that lingers. One really funny thing about this chai was my mom's reaction, I gave her a sip (as I have been doing with the teas I have been tasting while I have been visiting) and she took a sip...and then refused to give me my cup back! I enjoyed the chai, but she went bonkers for it, so naturally I let her have the rest of my cup.

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