Brand: Tea Forte
Tea: Black, loose leaf
Flavour: Bombay Chai
Cost: Around NZ$30, not a perfect figure as this was a gift.
Ingredients: Black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, start anise, black pepper, natural flavours.
This tea packaging consists of a branded 130g airtight tin, and the tea is packaged in sealed plastic within. Consists of good leaf quality, tightly rolled into small tidy gunpowder pellets. The overall in-packet aesthetic is attractive, with brown and golden colours showing generously within the blend.
Made with Indian tea leaves. Blended in Germany, packed in China. There is no region origin or ethical sourcing, however it does have ethical packaging using recyclable and renewable products, with the bottom of the tin stating this.
The initial smell while spooning out a couple of portions for a pot of this tasty new brew is very pleasant. The packet aroma is surprisingly sweet, with strong notes of ginger and clove. Water is added. The liquor builds to a smooth, rich, brown amber. This steeped tea aroma is sweet and savoury, with notably strong star anise and cardamom flavours moving to being more prominent with brew time.
Brew time: 5 minutes
The first cup after 5 minutes of brew time has a low astringency, with a very slight powdery tone that you can only notice if really searching for it. Balanced and strong in flavour and liquor, with pleasing savoury woody and spicy notes.
Notables with milk: Dulls woody notes, and brings out sweetness. The cup remains are minimal and grainy, characteristic of the tea being rolled in to pellets.
I really enjoyed this tea blend. Chai blends are a favourite of mine and I have only ever come across one that I couldn’t appreciate. This Bombay Chai from Tea Forte is particularly satisfying, being a strong infusion yet is not overbearing, as opposed to solely aromatic flavours, so the taste covers your whole palate. Clove and cinnamon can be easy to blend incorrectly but not in this infusion – everything in here is in tune. Excellent quality, and have enjoyed every cup.
Rating: 8/10, only losing marks as the tea is not ethically sourced and no region origin is stated. A perfect chai otherwise.