The Good: Does not taste bad, Nothing detrimental in the nutrition department, Caffeinated
The Bad: Does not taste at all like apple, A LOT of superfluous papers and strings.
The Basics: Twinings drops the ball on flavor with their Spiced Apple Chai tea, as it does not taste at all like apple.
There are a number of teas that I try that suffer quite a bit because they smell wonderful or exactly like what they are supposed to embody, but they do not taste the same. I am not a huge fan of aromatic teas that do not live up to their promised flavor. Sadly, though, that is where I fall on the Twinings Spiced Apple Chai tea. This tea, unfortunately, is not exceptional on the taste front, though it does smell quite good.
Like many teas, Twinings Spiced Apple Chai Tea smells like what it is supposed to and it is an aromatic tea, but it does not live up on the flavor front.
Spiced Apple Chai Tea is a black tea from Twinings of London. Black tea is made from mature tea leaves that are dried on the tea plant. Twinings recently released its Spiced Apple Chai tea and it is still finding its way to the marketplace (I know some of my local stores do not yet carry it).
Spiced Apple Chai comes in Twinings' standard tea bags, which are individually paper wrapped and have a five inch string. The string is attached to a paper tab that is independent of the wax paper wrapper. The string attaches to the tea bag through a knot, so there is no chance of metallic taste from a staple with this flavor! A box of Spiced Apple Chai tea comes with 20 individual paper-wrapped tea bags. After years of drinking only Celestial Seasonings' tea, this seems remarkably wasteful now to have so much waste as far as paper and strings.
Ease Of Preparation
As a black tea, Spiced Apple Chai is ridiculously easy to prepare. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and make a second cup of Spiced Apple Chai at about half strength. I tend to make my tea using a 30 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though in this method, the second brewing is about 1/2 strength.
To prepare Spiced Apple Chai tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags. For Spiced Apple Chai, roaring boil is just fine! This tea takes four to six minutes to steep according to the directions. In my experience, it gets no stronger after six minutes, but because it is such a rich tea, most consumers will likely to be happy with it at the four minute mark. Unfortunately, while a second pot with the same tea bags is weaker, the dryness of the tea is accented by reusing the bags.
Twinings Spiced Apple Chai Tea smells strongly of cinnamon and nutmeg. This is a very spicy tea that has no fruit aroma to the steam. Instead, this smells very much like potpourri.
As for the taste, the predominant flavor is simply dry. This tea is exceptionally dry and it is only after the tongue is overcome with dryness that the rest of the flavor begins to assert itself. This tea tastes primarily like cinnamon. It is only as an aftertaste that the Spiced Apple Chai Tea has even a vaguely apple flavor to it.
Oddly, for a tea that is so dry, the Spiced Apple Chai Tea has no aftertaste, which is nice.
The ingredients in this tea are more complex than most Twinings teas. It is primarily made up of: Black Tea, Natural apple and Chai. There are actual spices, but the flavors of real spices are added before the spices themselves. There is nothing that cannot be pronounced in this tea.
In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar, which I recommend), no fat, sodium, or protein. There is caffeine, but how it relates to other beverages remains a mystery; Twinings does not put a scale on their boxes of tea. This tea is rather caffeinated, though and it will wake the drinker up.
Spiced Apple Chai tea is very easy to clean up after, provided one does not get it on fabric. The tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. If composting, though, one must remove the paper tag and string, which is just a tedious extra step. The tea itself will stain a mug a faint brown if it is left there for days on end, but otherwise may be cleaned up easily by rinsing out the vessel.
Spiced Apple Chai is a very dark tea and as a result, it will stain any light fabrics it comes in contact with. As a result, it is highly recommended that one not let it linger on anything they wish to protect and not have stained. It may be cleaned off if the spill is caught quickly, but if it lingers, it is not at all easy to wash out of clothes, linens or other fabrics.
Twinings Premium Spiced Apple Chai Tea is a dry tea that does not actually taste like apple. While it is not unpleasant, it is not at all incredible, like one might hope for from Twinings.
For other Twinings teas reviewed by me, please check out:
Herbal Revive Lemon & Ginger
Pumpkin Spice Chai
For other tea reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for a complete list!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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