On Sunday, 12-20-04, Jeff, Robin, and myself sampled a variety of Chai. We took notes on what we thought of each of our samples and I thought I would share those thoughts.

On the sample block was Monin Green Tea Chai concentrate, Oscar Chai concentrate, Gatsbys Chai concentrate, Rishi Masala Chai from leaf/spice, and MorningStar from leaf/spice. All samples were made in a hot/frothed & cold/iced methods.

* Monin
> Sweet, Honey, Black pepper, Creamy aftertaste, Aromatic, Soft full body.
> Sweet, light body, distant pepper
> Clove, Very Sweet, Light background flowers

* Oscar
> Light, :-), Tingle aftertaste, Sweet taste
> Very soft, Faint spices, Hardly discernable
> Subtle, “Chewy”, Nicely Sweet, Tea in foreground, Cinnamon, Vanilla

* Gatsby’s
> Not Sweet, Smooth, Light body, Aftertaste, Dark notes
> Quick splash of flavor, Left clean but little flavor, Not too syrupy
> Almost taste liquor, Vanilla, Tea in foreground, Clove, “Artifical”

* Rishi
> Strong Contrasts, Sweet, Pepper, Thick aftertaste, Licorice
> Ginger, Pepper, Nice bright notes, Armoatics abound
> Complex, Floral, Citrus

* Morning Star
> Burned throat, lots of pepper
> Pepper, Overbite, Strong
> Bitter, Strong Tea, Strong Pepper

We are still trying Chai that come across our plates. Rishi is by far the most natural, most bouyant, but it requires ritual. Ritual might get performed when sitting, but for cranking out items concentrates really keep the pace. We really did not like MorningStar or Gatsby’s. MorningStar is just not up our alley. Too peppery. Some people might like it fine, but for the three here who sampled it was too much. Gatsby’s was a high dose (ie 4 parts to 1 part water) Chai. It also reminded us all of chemicals. That was a big turn off. Monin and Oscar however are really close. I’m leaning more of a Monin Chai due to the Green tea, dark notes, and concentrate amts (1:4). Oscar is also very commercially viable in that it is a clean well balanced product.

This was a fun experiment that left us breathing chai for the rest of the day. I’m sure more will be evaluated as time goes on but I’d thought I would toss this out.