Shahrzad barooti VS. Brooks Bond red label?


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Postby Masalachaaaaiii... » Jun 2nd, '09, 22:09

Any time i see some strange sweetner I might try it in my chai now... :P
The honey I have doesn't say much except that its honey haha, no heating or anything mentioned. Saying "heated" could mean many things though like you said(cooked or just warmed up some to lower viscosity?). I would think cooking it would alter the taste in a negative way though, so unheated sounds good.

I've never had lapsang souchong, YET. Added to my list. I have a bunch of black tea samples lying around, I should just try making chai out of each of them. I have a tiny tin of gunpowder tea, I will try it, But can it handle being in a chai? It seems like it would not be strong enough.
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Postby Rainy-Day » Jun 3rd, '09, 05:35

If honey doesn't say anything, it's heated. Heated is bad for honey, traditionally in indian medicine at least it's considered a very bad thing to heat honey even if it's not fully cooked. I'm guessing it's ok if you just add it to hot chai and drink it right away, but if you heat it and then cool it down and sell in a bottle, I'd try to stay away.

Keep in mind that lapsang souchong is *very* smoky, similar to a smoked sausage in taste. It's an acquired taste. As I mentioned, I don't really like it, but I had it lying around..

I doubt gunpowder will work well in chai but other greens are even weaker..
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Postby Masalachaaaaiii... » Jun 9th, '09, 18:10

Little low on money now, due to a tea shopping spree for FF teas, so I will postpone some of my "experiments". Def. need to get some different honey though.

BUT DUDE! green chai actually worked very well. definitely the most unappetizing look though, almost like swamp water. I have a book on chai that I finally got around to reading and trying out their blends. Its called Kashmiri chai, It tasted wonderful, but I don't suggest using a boiling method with the tea, It would probably not work well then. I used some gunpowder from an Adagio sample.
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Postby Rainy-Day » Jun 9th, '09, 18:50

Excellent! I'll have to try green tea chai too, then. I have quite a few green teas lying around.
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Postby Shai Guy » Jun 30th, '09, 19:08

I like to use the Brooke Bong Red Label CTC for Chai,it works great.Shahrzad is a popular brand among Middle Eastern people Especially Iranians but I've never tried the Barooti tea they have.I see it on special buy 1 get 1 free all the time though,might have to pick some up.
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Postby Rainy-Day » Jul 1st, '09, 12:12

When I made it by itself - not in a chai (the Shahrzad), it was pretty lame. Really boring and almost no flavour. I do like the smell of the dry leaf very much, but that applies to all regular black teas. It could be that I'm just used to great black teas by now, good keemuns, sichuan gong fu, golden yunnan, etc. I haven't drunk any other cheap black in many years so I can't say, it could easily be that Shahrzad is about as good as any other such tea, and in a Chai I don't mind it at all, you get your simple black tea bitterness with spice flavour and sugar sweetness.
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Postby Masalachaaaaiii... » Jul 1st, '09, 13:16

I have a bunch of new black teas lying around, time to experiment, see if they can handle themselves in my masala chai! Higher quality assam and darjeeling, I have only used cheapies so far. Wonder if the taste will be any better or just be overpowered by the spices.
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Postby Masalachaaaaiii... » Jul 21st, '09, 00:50

Alrighty THEN! UPDATE I thought I would let everyone know that I have now made my masala chai with some high quality blacks lately. I tried assam melody and ceylon from Adagio, and some may think this is blasphemy..... CASTLETON MOONLIGHT hehehehhee

I must say with the assam melody it was DELICIOUS, leaps beyond the normal red label, which I expected. BUT I remind you that I don't boil my chai leaves, I steep it after boiling the milk/spices. This allows you to use just about any chai...so I started trying everything :) I have two friends that were lucky enough to try it before my sample ran out....They downed every drop hahahhahaa. I only got a sip and turned around with an empty cup.. they said "sorrrrrryyy!"

After my assam melody ran out, I felt spoiled. I tried it with the usual Red Label Mamri, not good enough for me anymore!!! UNLESS I want to prepare my masala chai with a different method(boiling of the chai leaves involved)...I will begin using a higher quality assam.

I tried ceylon sonata, pretty tasty as well, but it was too weak to handle the spices. Might give it another try with more leaf.

I also tried it with castleton moonlight, an awesome chai! But still a bit too weak, again this was expected just an experiment (more leaf next time :) ). Assams really are the way to go!
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Postby Rainy-Day » Jul 21st, '09, 11:41

You should try boiling Assam, as well. I think it might turn out even better.
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Re: Shahrzad barooti VS. Brooks Bond red label?

Postby Masalachaaaaiii... » Jul 22nd, '09, 15:19

I haven't done the boiling method in a while, definitely makes it stronger. I will probably give it a go today, just to see if I like it more :D I used to boil everything, just like the taste of steeping it instead lately.

EDIT: I made some with the boiling method(ginger+spices+chai leaves for 10mins) for the first time in a while. Its about the same taste, just mildly stronger :wink:
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Re: Shahrzad barooti VS. Brooks Bond red label?

Postby Rainy-Day » Jul 22nd, '09, 23:58

For me, it's the opposite, I've never done steeping method. In fact lately I haven't made chai at all, too busy and I don't want to skimp on time, if I make chai I want to spend 15 minutes brewing it and if I spend 5 minutes on preparation, that's 20 minutes right there.. I've been so busy that I only have enough time to make a quick one-steep shincha! I really like chai, though, because there's so much variety that can be explored in combining different amounts of various spices. And the ritual of grinding spices is very appealing.
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Re: Shahrzad barooti VS. Brooks Bond red label?

Postby Shai Guy » Aug 7th, '09, 12:00

The best way of making Masala Chai in my opinion is to boil the spices with the water and when it reaches a boil,lower the flame under the pan and add the tea and let it brew over the low flame for 10 minutes.This way you are fully extracting the caffeine and flavor from the tea but not destroying the volatile substances from the tea which would happen if you boiled it.I also warm the milk in a separate smaller pan and then I strain the tea in my teapot and pour the warmed milk in and mix them.The low flame over the brewing tea will ensure a maintained hot temp. and also help extract a stronger flavor.

I think this is the best way as you are not destroying the flavors and also I read some studies from Pakistan about how boiling tea destroys the volatile oils and flavors of the tea leaves.The study was based on the traditional way of preparing Pakistani tea which is the same as Indian tea,both countries drink Masala Chai.
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Re: Shahrzad barooti VS. Brooks Bond red label?

Postby Rainy-Day » Aug 8th, '09, 16:40

shai guy: yeah, I actually don't think anybody boils chai, all recipes I've seen call for simmering. One question, though: why do you heat milk separately? Do you ever use half-and-half?
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Re: Shahrzad barooti VS. Brooks Bond red label?

Postby hop_goblin » Aug 10th, '09, 09:22

I use Brooks Bond Red to make my Indian chai Masala and as an occasional breakfast tea. The other ones sold in Arabic stores if memory serves me correctly is a Ceylon tea and not an Indian. In my opinion they have different characteristics. THe BBRL is more malty while the Ceylon is more subdued.
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Re: Shahrzad barooti VS. Brooks Bond red label?

Postby marlena » Aug 29th, '09, 14:35

All of the teas I've had from Indian food stores have been of the so-so category and I've paid as much as [ta-da] $8 a lb. They're ok on a short brew but they are not good quality Nilgiri, Assam or Darjeeling - almost all of which is exported here or to Europe.
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