The words chai and matcha are both ancient Asian forms for the word tea – which suits Tazo Teas and it’s archaic wisdom theme it has going for itself. But do these quick fix lattes they taste as stale as they sound?
The chai – It’s a blend of black tea and spices, most noticeably cinnamon, that you add to milk… and tastes pretty good. This is the stuff that Starbucks uses – and with a price tag of four bucks for a Starbuck’s chai compared to doing yourself at home for less than $.75 per serving, well you just can’t beat that with a telephone pole. Plus you get the added benefits of not having to have it served at 900 degrees C like the marked-up coffee shope version, nor having more mix than milk which tends rip out one’s throat with cinnamon. The ideal mix, says the box, is half milk/half mix. I like it at 2/3 milk and 1/3 mix, which produces liquid marshmallow. Good stuff indeed.
A warning though, do not operate heavy machinery after drinking because even the caffeinated version will put you to sleep.
The matcha – I got this by accident thinking it was the chai, though clearly the box is green. The mix is also green, which lead green milk and an exclamation not ready to be uttered here. After reading the box I found it was in fact green tea with honeydew and assorted fruit flavoring. I was thinking "the heck?" when I tried it, and I’m still thinking "the heck?"
Though it’s not bad tasting it has a creamy sickly-sweet flavor that does not resemble milk, tea, honeydew or the color green; and it smells like coconut-scented shampoo. Obviously it’s named after the Japanese tea ceremony tea because of its metaphysical properties – being everything and resembles nothing.
I have no mixing recommendations for this, for no matter how much you put in all it tastes the same… and you’ll have some unmixed junk at the bottom of your cup.
All in all, I say give both a try. If anything, the budding alchemists of the world can scrutinize the matcha over a nice cup of chai.