This chai is based on rooibos, rather than black tea, so that it is virtually caffeine-free. The rooibos itself is completely caffeine-free; the only reason I leave a tiny bit of wiggle room in the description is because chocolate does contain some caffeine, and the amounts of cacao powder and chocolate flavouring in this tea may contain a teensy-weensy amount of caffeine. If you are extremely sensitive to caffeine, you probably already know this about chocolate, and know not to drink anything with chocolate in it late at night.
That said, this is otherwise an herbal tea, a “red tea.” The ingredients in this tea are:
Cacao powder, rooibos, cinnamon, chicory root roasted, ginger, chocolate flavouring, licorice root, cardamom, cloves, nutment, shortbread flavouring, orange peel, pepper.
All of the above except the shortbread flavouring are certified organic.
The chocolate taste in this tea is actually pretty mild – the spices and the natural spiciness of rooibos mostly overpower the chocolate. I don’t really taste much of the chicory, either – chicory is something I look for, one of my favorite herbal flavors, and I can barely detect it here. Adding a bit of sugar brings out the chocolate a little bit more, but then adding milk pretty much mutes the chocolate again. What one winds up with is a spicy, milky tea with a faint hint of chocolate. Tasty, but not very chocolate-y.
Zhena’s Gypsy Tea describes this tea as:
From the Cedarburg Mountain Region of South Africa comes this superior grade, caffeine-free organic Rooibos, blended with the rich, exotic taste of Mediterranean carob and the zest of ginger and cinnamon bark. Chicory and licorice root, round out this delicious thick, warming cup. Wonderful with a splash of milk.
That description mentions carob, but I don’t see any carob listed in the ingredients. Perhaps there was a change in formulation, and the lack of carob is why the chocolate taste isn’t as strong? As I said, the taste is far more spicy than it is chocolate-y, so I enjoyed it for the cinnamon and ginger anyway.
Remember how our parents used to give us hot milk to help us get to sleep? Try adding already-warmed milk to this chai, to have it as your late-night bedtime snack!