I had a rather eventful day, so you’re getting evening tea today. I’ll admit, I didn’t put any thought into which teas I would choose each day, so because of that, and because of the eventful day, I chose one of my favorite comfort teas: Organic Cinnamon Rooibos Chai. This tea isn’t very aptly named. There are only three ingredients. Rooibos, apple, and cinnamon. It doesn’t have the aromatic spice blend of a traditional chai. There’s no actual tea in it (making it not-at-all chai). Also, it tastes kind of awful if brewed in or with milk. But I’m not here to beat a dead horse with the semantics stick. Who cares what it’s called?
The first thing you notice is the smell. A rich, earthy cinnamon smell that overpowers the senses. It brings to mind a book series I read years ago by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts – The Empire Trilogy (a follow-up to the Riftwar series Feist wrote on his own). In these books, there’s a race of beings called the Choja. They are insectile creatures that live in underground hives, and the descriptions of these hives always include a rich, spicy, earthy scent. And that’s kind of what this tea evokes. Comforting, dark warmth. The kind you seek out on cold, rainy fall, or winter days like today. The kind you want most when you’re under the weather. That smell lingers and is one of the best things about this tea. It’s what you want to smell when you pull a hot apple pie out of the oven. It feels like a warm, soft blanket being pulled around you as you curl up on the couch.
Unlike many cinnamon-based teas, this one doesn’t disappoint on flavor. Rooibos is a base that lends itself particularly well to spices – even more so, I find, than black tea. It rounds out their flavor with a sharp, almost umami-like richness. The cinnamon flavor permeates your senses in a way I haven’t experienced with other simple cinnamon teas. I’ve tried Stash Tea’s cinnamon chai and was sorely disappointed after having gotten used to this one. Suffice to say, I highly recommend you try it! I bought a bag of 100 sachets a while back, and I wish I could buy another one.
Today started out dark and ugly – the kind of morning you just want to lie in bed and never move. And then it became progressively more and more unpleasant until I did just that for a few hours. And now it is dark, my brain has come to life finally, and I’m being productive for what remains of the day. I look out at some of my neighbors’ holiday lights (I’m not going to assume they’re celebrating anything specific other than darkness), and I remind myself that in three short weeks, the days will begin to lighten again. It’s such a short time away, I think I can just burrow into the darkness until it passes. As long as I have my warm cinnamon chai to comfort me. Winter may be coming, but it never stays.