Hey Teacups! I’m back again today with another Let’s Talk Tea post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Mystic Brews – Madagascan Vanilla Chai. The last time I tried any blends from Mystic Brews was Christmas time when I tried the blends included in the Christmas gift box that I included in my tea lovers gift guide last Christmas and I thoroughly enjoyed the three teas/tisanes I had the chance to try, so since then I have been really looking forward to trying out some of their blends that they stock all year round and seeing how they compare to the first ones that I tried. Of course out of the samples of their year round blends I was gifted I had to start with their chai, because you all know how much of a fan of chai I am and how when it comes to chai I am really hard to please because I’ve had the chance to try so many and have developed a strong top 5 and it takes something pretty special to replace any of my firm favourites. Going into this tasting session I really was intrigued to see whether or not this Chai was going to offer and whether or not it was going to be good enjoy to make it into my top 5 golden standard.
Here’s what Mystic Brews themselves have to say about this blend over on their website: ”Indian Chai is typically made using a rich black tea, usually an Assam, and steeping it in milk with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. The addition of vanilla adds a hint of creaminess to this our Chai loose leaf tea – a fantastic addition. 3-5 grams of tea, 200-260 ml of water, 3-7 min steeping time”.
Ingredients: Black tea, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Black & White Pepper, Clove, Calendula petals, Nutmeg, and Natural flavours.
Tea Tasting Notes
For this tasting session over a few days I ended up trying this blend hot (on it’s own), hot with rock sugar & milk, iced (on it’s own) and iced with rock sugar. My favourite way to have this is definitely iced and sweetened but that’s because we are just going into summer and I live on iced chai during summer, but it was also really good hot and sweetened. For the most part this chai was fantastic, the black tea used for the base is a solid strong black tea and provides a nice malty undertone to this blend, the spices are of a great level and I was able to pick them all out easily in both the hot and cold versions but I couldn’t taste any vanilla in this blend at all.
For a blend named Madagascan Vanilla Chai you really would expect to be able to pick out vanilla and for it to be strong enough it would stand up to the black tea and the spices. What I assume happened is that the vanilla used in this blend falls under the flavours part of the ingredients as it’s not listed at all. Those flavours are also last on the ingredients list which from what I understand means that they are the ingredient that is used the least which is probably why you cant taste any vanilla in this at all, even when sweetened. It really didn’t stand a chance of standing up to the strong black tea base and all the spices in this blend and if I were to give a suggestion to Mystic Brews I would definitely recommend adding in some actual vanilla to this rather than going down the flavouring route.
What is absolutely gutting about that thought is that this is a great chai but if it had delivered on the vanilla it promised it would have been in my top 10 without a shadow of a doubt because I enjoyed everything else this chai had to offer and really apricated the straight and balance of the spices. But that vanilla really would have taken this to a much more indulgent level both hot and iced. I had assumed that adding in some sweetener would have brought out the vanilla hence adding in the rock sugar but it didn’t change anything. However it did cut through the spices a little and lift the black tea a smidge so I do prefer to have this sweetened than just on it’s own, but I always have my chai sweetened anyway. If you aren’t a fan of having your chai or tea in general sweetened than this is still completely find unsweetened it’s just a personal preference of mine to have my chai sweetened.
Sadly because this didn’t deliver on such a big part of what it promised, unless it was re blended I don’t know if right now with so many other chai’s I love that I would consider repurchasing this. Not over other chai’s with a twist that definitely deliver on what they boast in their name or ingredients list. However if Mystic Brews were to re-blend this and the vanilla was made much more prominent would definitely give it another try to see how it would compare. If you are simply looking for chai’s to try then of course give this a go but go into it knowing that you won’t be getting the vanilla but you will be getting a well balanced chai.
Overall Teacup Rating: 3.9/5
If you want to find out more about Mystic Brews and purchase some of this chai to try for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post was gifted to m for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*