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I make my own homemade chai, and I've tried several brands of black cardamom, but this has turned out to be the very best of the bunch. When I crack the shell, what comes out are still fresh, not totally dried out, and I can taste the difference in my chai. My husband, who notices very little, commented, when I made my first batch of chai w/ this cardamom, that it was my best batch ever. I've finally found the brand I'm going to stay with!