Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kalahari’s Zambezi Red Chai Review

Type: Rooibos
Origin: South Africa
Price: Sample (regular price - $3.50 for 20 Pouches)
Vendor: Kalahari
Brewing Method: 1 teabag, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 200°F, steeped for 4 - 5 minutes
Overall Score: 3.8 out of 5

Zambezi Red Chai is a rooibos base blend with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. The dry leaf aroma smells of chai spices with the ginger and cloves standing out more than the rest. I cannot see much of the dry leaf blend because of the opaque tea bag, but from what I can make out there lots of colorful specs of spices throughout.

The cinnamon and clove aromas are more distinguishable as the tea is steeping. The liquor before milk is added is a light copper color. The liquid is rather foggy, but I have found that to happen whenever cinnamon is an ingredient in the blend. After milk is added, the liquid becomes a light brown or tan color.

The taste is… warm. I can taste the cloves, cinnamon, and ginger which provides for the overall warm feeling. The milk helps cut some of the harshness from the spices, but I can still feel the heat in the back of my throat.

This rooibos base chai seems to be sweeter than the Assam base chai’s. There is a lack of bitterness and astringency that normally comes with the Assam base blends. It is also mellower than chai’s made with black tea… even though the cloves are always relentless no matter what else is in the blend.

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