The “new items” shelf in Trader Joe’s is always where I start when I want to find new products there. Granted, the items in the frozen or refrigerated sections aren’t going to hold up at room temperature, but I always see things that I might otherwise overlook – like a new tea offering. Trader Joe’s Spiced Chai is a colorful new tea that I picked up on my last Trader Joe’s run. The bright box caught my eye, but the list of spices on the back reeled me in.
The tea is flavored with cinnamon, ginger, cloves cardamom, Chinese star anise, black pepper, nutmeg chicory and vanilla bean. With all those spices, you would expect it to be complex – and this tea definitely delivers on that. You get a hint of every spice, with some lingering notes from the cloves and anise, as well as a slightly creamy flavor from the vanilla. It’s not aggressively spicy, like some chai teas are, and can be enjoyed either plain or with sweeteners added. I particularly like it with honey, which brings out some of the sweetness in the cinnamon and ginger a bit more.