I can't remember the last time I was in a Starbucks. Their teas are fine in a pinch, but I don't seek them out. A friend and I headed over to our local store to try out the chai. The drink is available hot or iced as a latte or just straight tea. Canisters of the blend are also available for purchase. I decided to try the latte, since I have a hard time finding one that I like. The last time I had a chai latte at Starbucks it was far too sweet for my taste. Oprah's latte is definitely a tad less sweet, but still a bit cloying. This could be easily remedied by asking for less sugar, or even going without it completely. The regular chai latte was a bit heavy, the foam masking some of the spices. But if you don't like your chai spicy it's not a bad thing. I will say I enjoyed the spice blend used in this chai. I could distinctly taste the ginger, clove, cinnamon and cardamom. The ginger and cloves lingered on my tongue long after I finished the drink. I think the blend is supposed to have rooibos as well as black tea, but I didn't taste the rooibos. This is fine with me, since I don't prefer it.
I enjoy creating my own chai at home, where I can control the spices and sweetness. Some mornings I'll make a large pot of it and take it to work in a thermos. But I will say this chai latte will definitely do if I'm out and about, craving something a little sweet and spicy. Perhaps now you'll spot me at Starbucks more than once a year.
A small portion of each chai product sold will be donated to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Of course this is great press for Oprah but it's nice to know you're doing a little bit of good while sipping your latte. Like her or not, it's wonderful that Oprah is putting tea in the spotlight. Hopefully it'll urge more folks to give it a try.