Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chai Latte: Dark Chocolate Chimp Review

Type: Chai
Origin: Not Stated (My guess is India)
Price: Package of 6 different chai lattes for $8.25
Vendor: Coffee Masters (I could not find the set that I bought on their website)
Brewing Method: added 3 tablespoons of powdered mix to 8 oz. of water, then added about 2 oz. of 2% white milk.
Overall Score: 2.5 out of 5

While vacationing in Branson, Missouri I found a chai latte set in a small souvenir shop. These lattes are in powdered form, so it just dissolves in hot water or milk – no steeping required. Nevertheless, I thought I would try them out to see how they taste compared to “real” chai.

No, that was not a typo in the title. Dark Chocolate Chimp (all of the chai lattes in this set have some animal in the title) is a mix of spices with some dark chocolate coco powder added. The full list of ingredients include: cane sugar, non-dairy creamer (coconut oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate, mono and diglycerides, dipotassium phosphate, lecithin) honey granules, dutch dark cocoa powder, black tea extract, black tea powder, natural spice blend, natural flavors. Yummy, right? Ha! There is also 135 calories per serving in this faux chai.

Both in the dry powder and while the powder was being mixed into the hot water, the chocolate aroma stood out. I could not distinguish any other spices that might possibly be found in chai (for example: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, etc.). Of course, I’m not exactly sure what was in the “natural spice blend.”

The taste was more intense than I thought it would be. I expected it to taste watery, but it did not. It was creamy (which I’m assuming had a little help from the milk). Other than that it just tasted like hot chocolate… well, really bad hot chocolate.

I did not much care for the taste at all. It was a little bitter and, I want to say, sour. I couldn’t taste any certain spice, but my mouth felt hot after swallowing each sip so I’m sure cinnamon had to be in there somewhere.

I did not even drink half of this chai before I sat it aside. If you want “real” chai instead of this instant chai, then I would recommend Yogic Chai instead.

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