The Good: Amazing aroma, Great taste especially with sugar, Easy to prepare, Caffeinated
The Bad: Extraneous tea garbage, Smells more flavorful than it initially tastes
The Basics: A very flavorful caffeinated tea, Stash's Premium Chai Spice Black tea truly comes alive when sugar is added!
Some time ago, I reviewed the Stash Chai Spice Decaf Tea (click here for review!) and while I enjoyed it, I did not think it lived up to its potential. So, I picked up the Stash Chai Spice Black tea to see if it offered a more robust flavor for those of us who love tea. It does, but it smells a bit better than it tastes, which is a little disappointing.
Chai Spice Black is a tea from Stash. It is a tea that has caffeine and is a fairly strong black tea. Chai Spice Black comes in Stash's standard individually-wrapped tea bags, means that each tea bag has a wax papery envelope it is sealed in for freshness. Each tea bag has a five-inch string with a little paper tab at the end, which is quite a bit more waste than I like from a tea bag. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use two bags and making a steeping pot of Chai Spice Black reminds me of why I like the easy environmentalism of Celestial Seasonings' stringless bags. A box of Chai Spice Black comes with 20 individually-wrapped tea bags.
Chai Spice Black is marketed as a chai spiced tea and it does a good job at that by being loaded with spices which instantly overwhelm the nose and prepare the consumer for a delightful tea experience.
Ease of Preparation
Chai Spice Black is a black tea, which means preparation is as easy as boiling a pot of water! Chai Spice Black, as the directions clearly state, require water that is boiling. A single tea bag will make the standard 7 oz. coffee mug worth of tea, though reusing the tea bags yields a mug full which is about 3/4 strength. It was only when reusing the teabag (or when the tea was cold) I found the tea to have a dry aftertaste.
To prepare Chai Spice Black, simply boil up some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take three to five minutes to steep and with boiling water, the tea was ready at the three minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than five minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea. However, after brewing for five minutes, trying to reuse the teabag is likely to net the consumer a much weaker second cup or pot.
Coming out of the package, Chai Spice Black has one of the most delicious and potent cinnamon and chai scents of any tea I have ever had. Once brewed, the tea smells like potpourri with its wide array of spiced smells. Anyone familiar with nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon will instantly discover those scents wafting up from their mug or steeping pot and the potency of this tea is exceptional. One of the elements that instantly sets the Chai Spice Black apart from the decaf version of the same tea is that the Spiced Black has a stronger clove scent to it.
Chai Spice Black tea is a flavorful blend which is an easy pick-me-up with a taste that is heavy on a variety of spices. This Chai Spice Black overpowers the consumer with black tea flavors. This is a tea that has no hint of a watery aftertaste; it smells like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and it tastes like tea. In fact, one of the few drawbacks of this tea is that it smells more flavorful that it actually tastes. While the aroma is robust and interesting, the black tea flavor dominates most of the taste to weaken the sense of intrigue the beverage hints at with its scent.
With a teaspoon of sugar, Chai Spice Black the spices come alive! This is an odd tea in that making it sweeter actually lessens the tea flavor and allows he clove and cinnamon flavors to finally overtake the tea flavor. That makes this a suddenly amazing beverage. With milk, the spices come out even more, though there is a slightly muted aftertaste to the tea that way.
Cold, Chai Spice Black is dry and loses some of the flavor, so this is definitely a tea that is better piping hot!
That Stash’s Chai Spice Black is flavorful and heavily spiced makes sense and the ingredients list reflects that. The primary ingredients are: blended black teas, ginger root and cinnamon. Chai Spice Black tea is all natural, contains caffeine and is not marked as Kosher.
Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make Chai Spice Black, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.
Stash's Chai Spice Black is a fairly dark black tea. As a result, cleanup is rather simple, save on fabrics. The mugs and steeping pot easily rinse out. This tea will stain if it is left on fabrics, so simply do not let the tea cups or mugs linger on light colored materials that might stain!
Chai Spice Black is easy to clean up after - the tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. One of the nice things about this tea - like most - is that so long as it is kept cool and dry, it can last for a long time and it is easy to clean up. However, like all Stash teas, there is extra waste from the strings, paper tabs and individual wrappings around each bag.
Stash Chai Spice Black is a flavorful, all-natural tea that is likely to satisfy anyone who likes their tea strong, slightly sweet and very spicy!
For other Stash teas, please check out my reviews of:
Stash Peach Black tea
Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey
Stash Coconut Mango Ooloong
For other beverage reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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