Cute names do not a great tea make, but they don’t hurt either. My humans got a chuckle out of the name of this tea, then they got to the serious business of trying it as part of their week-long Chai Extravaganza.
The Subject: Night of the Iguana Chocolate Chai from The English Tea Store.
Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 7 minutes
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings added: Spices
Aroma, dry tea leaves: ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper
Aroma in the cup: Intriguing, non-cocoa-ish, yet something odd about it
Taste in the cup: Smooth, yet that oddness prevailed
Additional Infusion(s): Not recommended
According to the vendor’s Website, this tea is made from a full-bodied black Assam, white chocolate, caramel, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper.
Of course, we followed the vendor’s steeping instructions.
Chocolate chai is definitely NOT traditional. For many tea drinkers, the mere thought of CHOCOLATE in their TEA is blasphemous or at least downright unappetizing. Hubby and I were open to the possibilities here. After all, we like a nice cuppa hot cocoa now and then, so chocolate and tea…
Unfortunately, the name “Chocolate Chai” here is misleading. First, “white chocolate” is not really chocolate, since it contains no cocoa. Second, the white chocolate is in the form of miniscule little “kisses” and are rather scarce. Personally, I think the name should be changed to “Night of the Iguana Chai.” Of course, how this tea possibly relates to the Tennessee Williams play about breaking down sexual morés is a total mystery. Sometimes, a cute name isn’t helpful when one is seeking out a particular product.
Aside from the issues of the name and the lack of proper chocolate, we initially found the taste rather interesting. It was spicy like a typical Indian chai but with a sweet element added in. However, the more I drank of it, the queasier I got. A few mouthfuls is all I could manage. Hubby had to proceed on his own. There was something definitely off in the taste. I thought it might be anise, but the Website doesn’t list that as one of the ingredients. Maybe it was the coriander and cardamom mixed with caramel. Hm…
We did a second infusion just to see how it would go. To be brief, we don’t recommend it. I couldn’t even try it, based on the aroma. Hubby thought it was too weak, a bit bitter, not at all cocoa-ish, and smoothed only slightly with the addition of a little milk and sweetener.
The dry tea, and the tea after the second infusion:
This chai was not quite up to our expectations as self-proclaimed “chai snobs” but was still worthy of our Chai Extravaganza. Don’t miss the rest.
Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.
If you like this review, there are plenty more at Little Yellow Teapot Tea Reviews!