Following my Celebration of Autumn with DAVIDsTEA YouTube series, I couldn’t resist placing another order with the company to buy more of their Pumpkin Chai and Salted Caramel Oolong. Then, I found myself tempted by several new and re-released chai blends because who doesn’t like warming up with a spicy chai latte when the temperatures start to drop? Butterscotch Chai. Baked Apple Chai. Maple Chai. Cinnamon Bun Chai. How is a mama to choose?
The answer: She doesn’t. She lets her husband choose, and when he selects Butterscotch Chai, she’s quietly disappointed he didn’t choose Cinnamon Bun Chai.
I can see small pieces of amber-colored rooibos mixed with large chunks of tropical fruits, whole green cardamom pods, sugar crystals that look like gems, and small flakes of blackberry leaves and ginger root. The blend is a feast for the eyes, as DAVIDsTEA blends usually are. The scent of the dry tea is buttery and sugary sweet cardamom, but I don’t think it smells much like butterscotch. Once steeped, the blend produces an orange-colored liquor that reminds me of butterscotch pudding and smells like sweet cardamom and spiced wood.
There are elements of this blend that I really appreciate. First, I love the spiciness of the Butterscotch Chai. The inclusion of black pepper adds a satisfying heat factor to this tea that has me going back for more sips. Also, DAVIDsTEA delivers on the “butter” aspect of butterscotch in a way other brands have not achieved. Seriously, I am in love with their natural butter flavoring. It’s subtle. You may even almost miss it. But there it is, right at the end of a sip– a slab of unsalted, melty butter coating the tongue. I noticed the same flavor and sensation in their Maple Syrup Oolong, a blend inspired by maple syrup drenched buckwheat pancakes, and I think it is spectacular attention to detail.
But then, the blend starts to fall apart for me…And, okay…I’m not going to lie. A major factor in this is because what I was really searching for was a tea that tasted like liquid Werther’s Original, but I’ve jut found out those are caramel-flavored and not butterscotch-flavored. My whole life is a lie. Instead, the blend is buttery sweet with a subtle bitterness and flavor that I associate with molasses followed by a hint of cardamom.
And while on the subject of sweetness, between the sugar, the fruit pieces, the sweet blackberry leaves, and the stevia extract, Butterscotch Chai was too sweet for my personal tastes. I think to get the full Butterscotch Chai experience, you need to drink it sweetened. However, I think the degree of sweetness is such a personal preference, so I would have much preferred to add my own sweetener. I also don’t love the flavor of stevia. I don’t always notice it imparting flavor in a DAVIDsTEA blend– the Vanilla Cappuccino blend comes to mind. But, I did notice it in the Butterscotch Chai.
Interestingly, turning the Butterscotch Chai into a latte (or just adding a spot of milk), which is how I usually sip my spiced chai, doesn’t work for me either. It cuts down on the sweetness, which I appreciate, but it also mutes the flavor in general. The spice is still there, but the buttery flavor that makes this blend unique is missing.
Overall, Butterscotch Chai from DAVIDsTEA is a miss for me, but it reminds me of those awkward breakups that start with, “it’s not you…it’s me…”. (Has anyone outside the movies actually ever heard that line?) I went into this experience looking for a certain flavor profile, and the Butterscotch Chai wasn’t it. The cloying sweetness and flavor of Stevia didn’t help either. This blend actually tastes quite similar to another one of DAVIDsTEA’s sugared and spiced rooibos blends– Monster Mash– so, if you’re already a fan of that blend, Butterscotch Chai might tickle your tastebuds.
Oh, and what did my husband think of this blend? He genuinely liked it! But, when I told him Werther’s Original was caramel and not butterscotch, he said he needed to start his life over.
What spiced chai blends have you been keeping warm with this Autumn? Let me know in the comments!
chaied tried Butterscotch Chai from DAVIDsTEA? Why not try some of these tasTEA blends?