Chai Tea for a Newbie


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Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby Brinson » Oct 10th, '09, 00:12

So, I've only had a few loose leaf teas. Bought a few from my local farmer's market and used them. Liked it, but I usually drink chai, which I find harder to find loose leaf in my area, so I googed loose leaf tea and adagio came up.

I like the pricing of the tea, but am unsure which to buy. The sampler's pricing seems high to me...there seems to be no mention of how much is in a sample tin, but it says 10 cups, which doesn't seem like very many. I regularily pick up bagged chai tea with ~20 bags in it for $1 or $2 at discount stores.

Obviously the higher amount of tea is very well priced, just not too sure about the sampler.

Any experience with the chai? Is it worth the cost for the sampler or am I better of buying larger amounts as I finish the one I purchased before?

I would have liked to purchase the ingenioustea pot with chai tea sampler, but it seems chai is not an option for that, which I find odd, but meh.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby kymidwife » Oct 10th, '09, 00:23

Welcome to TeaChat!

I really love the chai teas from Adagio. My favorite is the Thai Chai, but the standard Masala Chai is really good too. I also love the IngenuiTea... but I don't recommend it for Chai unless Chai is the only thing you will use it for. The aroma and flavor of the chai spices will be hard to remove from the filter. I would suggest a glass or porcelain pot for flavored teas so you can keep the flavors more pure.

Sarah
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby tenuki » Oct 10th, '09, 01:01

I realize this sounds nitpicky, but chai means tea, saying chai tea is saying 'tea tea'. It also bothers me when people say ATM machine btw. I think the proper term would be masala chai or spiced tea.

Masala Chai is usually made by boiling the tea and spices directly in the water for a relatively long period of time, adding cream/milk to taste and straining into cups. I've collected many recipes from friends and co-workers over the years, every family has their own, but most all of them use fresh ginger. There are even web sites dedicated to collecting masala chai recipes. Here at my house the recipe is simple - Tao of Tea's 500 mile cha + fresh ginger, boiled for 10-15 minutes, then add cream and simmmer just below boiling for another 10+ then remove from heat and strain into my authentic chaiwalla glasses. If my mouth is numb after drinking it I've done it right. :D

I'm off to make some masala chai ice cream, you've inspired me! :D
Last edited by tenuki on Oct 10th, '09, 01:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby Brinson » Oct 10th, '09, 01:17

I can't call it masala chai because that is a specific tea name sold here, heh, would be confusing. I realize chai means tea, but the fact that it is not tea tea is relevent, the language differentiation is due to origin, I believe, therefore saying chai does make sense, as saying Tea in another language can sensibly refer to tea from that region.

I also make lattes out of my <insert correct word>, but I usually boil all of my ingredients, milk, sugar (honey if I have it) and perhaps cinnamon, with the tea, and let it all brew together, rather than add the milk later. Not sure if this is the right way to do it, just seems to taste better for some odd reason.

I ended up ordering the "chai sampler" using the twitter $5 giftcard, so the price was only $6, which makes me very happy. Had to make a twitter account for it, too. Whoever made up that marketting idea...it determined my order largely, so good job. :D

I also got a free "Scorpio Sampler" combo as part of the zodiac promotion...any idea what's in that? Heh, what kind of tea is a scorpio supposed to like?

Can't wait for my tea to arrive.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby tenuki » Oct 10th, '09, 01:25

I'm finding that part of the difficulty with making masala chai ice cream is not drinking the masala chai before you make ice cream out of it. I used fresh/whole cloves this time and the smell is driving me crazy in a good way.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby Brinson » Oct 10th, '09, 03:53

How does one make masala chai ice cream? It sounds delicious.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby tenuki » Oct 10th, '09, 04:20

Well, this is my first time - haven't tasted the final result yet, just put it in the freezer. What I did was modify a vanilla ice cream base similar to what I do for matcha ice cream.

2 cups heavy cream
2 cup water (probably should use milk, we'll see how this turns out)
3 egg yolks
5 heaping tbs of Tao of Tea 500 mile chai
1 tbs of fresh cloves
1 tbs of fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups unprocess cane sugar

Put the 2 cups of water to boil on the stove in a 3 quart pan, add tea mix, clove and ginger. Let rapidly boil uncovered for 10+ minutes. While that is going on whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl till mixed and a bit frothy. After the 10 minutes is past go ahead and add the heavy cream to the saucepan and bring up to just below boiling (175 or so) for a bit. remove from stove and strain the tea mixture through something and into another bowl. Scoop a cup of the near boiling liquid out and drizzle it into the yolk/sugar mix slowly while whisking then combine everything back into the washed out saucepan (it needs rinsing out because of all the loose tea, etc) and put back on stove, bring back up to 175 slowly while stirring, hold there until it thickly coats the backside of a wooden spoon. remove from heat and let settle to room temp, stirring occasionally. Once it's at room temp put in refrigerator for at least two hours (preferably overnight) to chill.

then you use your icecream maker and put it in the freezer overnight to harden. :) Sounds more complicated than it is. lol. The taste I sneaked before I put it in the freezer just now was yummy - will be perfect with a couple shaves of dark chocolate and a sprinkle of cinnamon I think.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby Brinson » Oct 10th, '09, 19:36

Might try to make some when I'm visiting my mom for christmas. She has an ice cream maker.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby tenuki » Oct 11th, '09, 18:09

After careful deliberation and much testing I determined that masala chai ice cream is best on top of a still warm from the oven brownie.
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Thank the grandmothers for your chai

Postby Intuit » Oct 11th, '09, 19:16

Pleasant and semi-informative page on the origin of masala chai: an ancient winter and spring herbal tonic used to keep families healthy.

http://chaipilgrimage.com/2009/01/14/or ... sala-chai/

Although the British tea barons and the elite Indian families that later ran the large tea estates may have wished to profit from domestic sale of tea for making masala chai, purchasing quality looseleaf tea wasn't an option for the poor majority of the Indian population. Authentic, strongly flavored masala chai is made with cheap, abundant and full bodied Assam CTCs that brew quickly, and counterbalance the otherwise overpowering flavor of traditional fresh spices.

Adagio Chai:
*masala chai - premium Sri Lankan black tea with a unique blend of spices
*bengal green chai - premium Chinese green tea with a unique blend of spices

'Bengal chai' is known in India as Kashmiri Chai, made with gunpowder tea instead of strong Assam used in traditional masala chai.

Wikipedia page on chai:
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Masala_chai

Adagio foofoo chai, made with Ceylon tea and nontraditional spices:

*chocolate chai - premium Sri Lankan black tea with a unique blend of spices and rich chocolate
*spiced apple chai - premium Sri Lankan black tea with a unique blend of spices and delicious apples
*thai chai - premium Sri Lankan black tea with a unique blend of spices, coconuts and lemongrass.
Adagio's herbal version: thai chai with unidentified spices, coconut and lemongrass.

Your free Scorpio sample is one of the numerous Signature Blend teas, popular zodiac series. It's a mixture of flavored teas: vanilla rooibos, mango black tea and chocolate chip flavored ceylon tea.
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby geeber1 » Oct 11th, '09, 21:25

Another good thing to make with Chai is a milkshake. You can brew up some Chai, (strain, of course) and use it to make a shake in place of milk. This is one time when the boxed Chai concentrate is handy. Not as tasty as home-brewed, though!
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Re: Chai Tea for a Newbie

Postby Brinson » Oct 15th, '09, 15:18

Got my teas, eight different tins, 6 chai, a birthday, and a scorpio, not a bad deal for $6. Tried the thai chai first, its really good. Brewed it with milk, the coconut taste is very unique. Never tasted anything like it. Also, the tea seems to brew alot faster than the leaves I buy at the farmer's market.
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