Day 3: Coco Chai Rooibos

After the high caffeine of yesterday, it’s nice to see that today’s is a rooibos. Of course, it’s interesting to note that with these two, we manage to hit both of the most common (to my knowledge) replacements for Camellia sinensis (the tea plant) in tea. But then, that may just be me being a dork.

Today’s also a chai, which is a lovely treat. My mom and I both happen to love chai teas, actually, though we both enjoy them differently, and neither of us partake in it the way that it’s traditionally meant to be made.

The traditional way: brewed in milk on the stove, and with sugar/other sweetness added.

My way: brewed like normal tea, with milk and sugar added.

My mom’s way: brewed like normal tea, served clear

Really, there’s nothing wrong with any of these methods in my opinion. Or, for that matter, liking it with milk or sweetness but not the other.  Or brewing it in apple cider or another beverage for that matter. It just goes to show that any tea can be enjoyed many ways, and you really do need to experiment to find what works for you.

And now, the tea.

Yum, right?

Yum, right?

Day 3: Coco Chai Rooibos (rooibos) by DAVIDsTEA

Ingredients; Rooibos, coconut, cinnamon, ginger root, cardamom, cloves, pink peppercorns.

Brewed: 1 tbsp of tea brewed loose in 2-cup pot with freshly boiled water.

First cup: Steeped 5 minutes
The cinnamon is the strongest note, with the various spices also rounding out the flavour. I don’t notice the coconut as much (it’s there, but not one of the major notes I’m noticing), but as I’m not a huge fan of it anyway so that’s just as well by me. I can tell that this would taste better with milk and sugar (the way that chai is really supposed to be enjoyed) but it’s not a bad cup on its own either.

Second cup: Same steep, around 25 minutes. Milk and 1 tsp sugar added.
Definitely better with the milk and sugar — more rounded out. The sweetness balances out the spice blend wonderfully.

Yes, that's bagged milk. And I'm definitely a milk-firster!

Yes, that’s bagged milk. And I’m definitely a milk-firster!

Third cup: Same steep, around 35 minutes. Milk and Sugar added.
Ok, this is more of a half-cup. (The pot makes 2 cups clear, 3 with milk.) Cooled down a bit as well. The spices are very strong. Not off-putting, but strong, nonetheless. Makes me wonder how this would work if used to spice some sweet cider…. I bet that would be good. I may have to try it sometime.

The spices definitely leave an aftertaste, but thankfully not a bad one. I suppose it more speaks to just how strong the spices were in the first place.

Fourth cup: Resteeped. Milk and sugar added. Steeped for around 10 minutes.
The spices are still coming through very strongly, and I can taste the coconut more, I think.

The second half of the resteep went to my mother, who quite enjoyed it.

I also did a third steep. In general, it wasn’t bad, but the flavours were starting to mellow — the spices were starting to lose their power, and it needed to be clear to really be enjoyable.

My overall impression: Not the best chai that I’ve ever drank, but certainly not bad either. I know my mom likes this one quite a bit as well — she enjoys a good cup of chai and can’t drink much caffeine, so it’s perfect for her. Myself… I’d probably go with a different one if given the chance, so it wouldn’t be a staple for me, but I’m glad it’s there as it’s a solid non-caffeinated backup.

My rating: 79% B+. Definitely a good, solid tea. Not quite at the A level, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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