A wise man once said: “Bowties make everything better” and I think that man might have been Daniel Lewis. Daniel is the founder of T By Daniel, alongside wife Renata. It is a Canadian tea company located in Brampton, Ontario that has been on my radar for a couple years now. Even though it took me some time to take the plunge and place an order, I have always appreciated this company’s stylish branding and casual use of puns, as well as Daniel’s contagious energy and collection of colourful bowties! For today’s review, I decided to do an in-depth review of T By Daniel’s most popular tea to date, their “famous” Lion Chai! I mean if it’s good enough for the Prince of Wales, it’s good enough for me, right?
Lion Chai comes sealed tight in a sizable white pouch, complete with signature [Lion Chai] logo, as well as all the other need to know information. Because everything is ground up into a fine powder, the appearance of this “tea” is a bit one noted overall. The colour is on the pale side, and could be compared to a cinnamon or a super diluted brown sugar. I will say that after getting up extra close, I was able to spot crystals of the cane sugar shining through, as well as the cinnamon. The listed ingredients are: non-dairy creamer, cane sugar, blossom honey, instant (black) tea powder, hazelnut flavouring, caramel powder, and cinnamon powder. The aroma on the other hand? …It is out of this world potent! It is an one of a kind scent; very unlike any chai I’ve smelled before, and clearly in a league of its own!
T By Daniel recommends preparing Lion Chai one of two ways: with milk (2 heaping tablespoons of tea mix in 8 ounces of milk) or with water (5 tablespoons of tea mix in 8 ounces of water). For review purposes, I tried this blend both ways, but modified it by switching to teaspoons instead of tablespoons.
Once prepared in about a cup of hot water, Lion Chai looks pretty similar to a watered down instant hot chocolate, although the smell really says otherwise. By this point, it has greatly intensified, but it is still as addicting as ever! It is both smooth and sweet tasting, but not teeth rattling by any means. All your fix-ins are technically taken care of, so that’s a bit of a bonus. With frothed/hot milk used as the base liquid with this premix, it loses some of its signature aroma, but not enough to take away from the sipping experience as a whole. With milk added in, Lion Chai honestly feels like that much more of a treat. The creaminess increases, there’s a slight warmth from the spice, and how could you go wrong with a chai latte? The way both the hazelnut and caramel are integrated into this blend is a super unique twist to a classic that I’m still wrapping my mind around.
I am someone who is somewhat sensitive to sweet things, and would prefer to sweeten my tea on my own, if possible. Following the instructions as printed unfortunately made Lion Chai un-drinkable for me. Cane sugar, honey, and caramel felt like overkill. But if you’re the opposite of me and actually have a big sweet tooth, this is 100% the tea for you. And even if you’re not, you should still try it, because it’s downright yummy! (I will admit that I’m going to need some more time to play around with Lion Chai, in order to get my taste buds roaring in just the right way.) … I can see why it’s such a fan favourite, though.
What’s your favourite way to prepare chai? Sound off in the comments below!
Stay tuned for next’s week review which features an award winning white tea from Nepal!
Until we steep again…