Starbucks Chai, iced or hot, is undeniably good. I had one of each the other day (both from Barnes and Noble’s version of Starbucks) and was surprised at how spicy the iced version seemed to be. The cinnamon really hits the back of the throat, though in a pleasant, nostalgic sort of way.
Besides cinamon I could also pick out the nutmeg flavor. Other spices contained in Starbucks Chai (according to websites that have tried to duplicate the recipe) include coriander and cloves. Whatever the secret formula, Starbucks Chai has a unique flavor that is emotionally addictive.
Judging by the after-effect, I gather that Starbucks Chai also has a hefty amount of caffeine. I drank half of a Venti Chai around 4pm and couldn’t fall asleep until about 2am that night.
Trick of the Trade: Each Starbucks Chai contains a specific number of syrup-pumps — 5 pumps for a hot Venti Chai and 6 for an iced Venti Chai for example. Starbucks policy is that you get charged extra (50 cents last time I checked) only when you get two pumps of any flavor… so you can get a bit extra spice for your buck if you get one extra pump, which adds up to a five pump iced Grande Chai, or a seven pump iced Venti Chai, for example.