Tulsi Dosha Chai, rooibos tea from Teavana

This tea is a bit of a puzzlement. It takes on very different character just by changing a few variables. Use water that isn’t as hot (195 degrees) and this chai has a fruitier, lighter flavor. Use hotter water (208) with added sweetener and the taste & aroma morph into the chai liquid equivalent of Red Hot candy. There are large pieces of Indonesian Cinnamon stick (the thicker kind of cinnamon as opposed to the thinner Ceylon), so I’m not surprised by that flavor. And even if you leave out the cinnamon stick there’s a nice amount of cinnamon and spice permeating the brew with the cloves, ginger, cardamom, tulsi herb and beautiful pink peppercorns–I love their almost floral, peppery taste. But I’m stumped by the fruit flavor that I taste because there isn’t anything fruity in the ingredients. “Flavoring” is, however, listed. Coconut rasps, coconut and coconut fat are all listed as ingredients, yet there is scant little coconut flavor whatsoever. In fact the coconut rasps taste more like fruit with citrusy tropical notes. Go figure! So while I really enjoy the taste (and even the potential health benefits of tulsi), I wish I knew more about what exactly I was tasting. Strange but yummy.

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