Spot of Tea: Numi Holiday Chai

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[Photograph: Alice Gao]

I'm not in favor of holiday creep, but this spiced-up Assam tea has such a delicious winter-appropriate aroma that I'm almost feeling ready to deck the halls.

Cinnamon, ginger, anise, and cardamom come together with brisk, malty tea flavors for a spicy, eye-opening cup. It's bold without being bitter, and the gingery spice lingers in your mouth. It's more gingery than peppery—perfect for sipping with a gingerbread cookie. You could add some steamed milk and sugar for added richness, and to mellow it out a bit, but those who enjoy spicy chai will like this tea as-is, whether they are ready to hang up the stockings or not.

Numi also makes a rooibos-based herbal version of this tea.

Are you a chai tea drinker? Do you have a favorite brand?

$3.50 to $6.99, available online and at grocery stores. Sample provided for review.

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