Proper preparation of Adagio Masala Chai?


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Proper preparation of Adagio Masala Chai?

Postby geeber1 » Jun 20th, '08, 18:37

Just purchased a tin of Adagio Masala Chai, but am not sure how to prepare it.

I brewed some and mixed it with sugar and milk. It tasted okay, except that using fat-free milk probably isn't correct and it tasted a bit watery. Should I use a higher fat milk, cream, or some other type of milk?

I have seen recipes where the tea is brewed with the milk, does this taste better or is it just the more traditional method?

Thanks in advance for any helpful hints!
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Postby neowolf » Jun 20th, '08, 18:57

Don't know what way I SHOULD be making it really.. but brewing it like any black tea and mixing in milk and sugar produced something superior to the powdered chai mix I sometimes enjoy at home. Though it's still not quite as nice as what I can get at a coffee shop, and I'm sure none of these really compare to the real deal.
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Postby geeber1 » Jun 20th, '08, 21:33

Thanks neowolf.

I'm glad to know I haven't been too far off, and it does taste better than powdered and any bags that I've tried, and even tastes good without milk. (Is it illegal to drink chai without milk? :lol: ) And it's sure cheaper than buying it at those overpriced coffee stores!

Have you tried using soy or any other type of milk?
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Postby neowolf » Jun 20th, '08, 22:14

So far just real milk, and unlikely to stray from there myself. As for legality without milk, it smells so lovely I have a pitcher of it iced in the fridge I plan to try later. ;)
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Jun 20th, '08, 22:38

geeber1 wrote:Have you tried using soy or any other type of milk?


I made mine with unsweetened almond milk and a dab of honey. It tasted really good, though I think I brewed the tea a little weak or put too much almond milk in it or both. I also enjoyed it with just the honey in it too.
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Postby andycr512 » Jun 20th, '08, 23:21

The "correct" way depends on the definition of correct, but Masala Chai is usually "cooked" for a few minutes on the stove with the tea in it. If I have a lot of time, I bring 8oz of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of assam, 3 caramom pods, 1 clove, half a cinnamon stick (broken up), a few peppercorns, and an inch of fresh, chopped ginger, simmer for 5-10 minutes (I usually add the tea in the last 5 minutes, but sometimes add it at the beginning), then add milk, let it reheat just to simmering, sweeten and serve.

Personally if I am in a hurry I use 3-4 teaspoons of pre-mixed tea to 8oz of water (the high ratio is necessary due to the lower amount of actual tea in the blend and the mellowing effect the milk has - adjust to taste and depending on the brand) with boiling water for 5-7 minutes. I then strain, add milk and sugar (the "correct" thing to add is half and half, but I refrain from that), and serve.
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Postby geeber1 » Jun 21st, '08, 00:02

andycr512: both of those methods sound like they will make some excellent chai! Since I already have the pre-mixed tea, I think I'll try your second method. It's a little bit late for tonight, but tomorrow's a whole new day for experimenting! :D

Thanks, also, for the tip on using more tea, I was using just 1 tsp. 8 oz. of water and it was a bit weak.

Cinnamon: almond milk sounds interesting also. We live in a small town, so I'm not sure where I can find it. Do you know of any major grocers that might sell it?
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Postby Mary R » Jun 21st, '08, 08:56

The grocers in my area keep some soy milk in the chilled dairy cases, but most almond, rice, and soy milks are kept near the powdered milk on the shelves. I'm just mentioning that 'cause it would have never occurred to me to look for almond milk over there.

If your grocery doesn't carry it, you can always ask the managers if they can special order it for you. Most, especially in smaller towns, are pretty happy to do so.
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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Jun 21st, '08, 09:42

geeber1 wrote:Cinnamon: almond milk sounds interesting also. We live in a small town, so I'm not sure where I can find it. Do you know of any major grocers that might sell it?


Almond milk is awesome. It has a creamier, nutty flavor. I find that soy milk can taste chalky sometimes, so I generally use the almond milk as a substitute for actually milk. I get mine as Wegmans, but I don't think they have that in Oregon. I think I have also seen it at P&C. You could also try any store that has an organic section, or even a specialty organic food store.
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Postby geeber1 » Jun 21st, '08, 11:47

Soy milk doesn't do much for me either, so I'm definitely going to find the almond milk and give it a try.

I would never have thought to look where the powdered milk is, guess it's a good thing I'm not in charge of the grocery store, I probably would have put it by the nuts! :D

I'm glad you mentioned the organic section of the store also, we do have two grocery stores in the area that have lots of organic products. I usually breeze by that dept. when I'm shopping so wouldn't have thought to check there without your suggestions.

After the morning routine, I'll be on a mission to find almond milk!
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Postby elchai » Jun 23rd, '08, 10:36

Is the Masala Chai pretty flavorful? I have the green spice and I wish it had a little more flavor. Before trying loose teas, I had been buying Stash Chai green/black or just black in the bags.

So, I wonder if I should try something else to get more flavor. I don't have the patience or time to do it myself as was suggested above... I added a little cinnamon this morning and it didn't really change the flavor much.

Any suggestions?
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Postby geeber1 » Jun 23rd, '08, 11:19

Hi elchai,

The Adagio Masala Chai is pretty flavorful if it's strong enough. andycr512 gave me the suggestion to use more tea than I would for plain black tea. He (or she!) said to use 3 to 4 teaspoons of tea for each 8 oz. of water. I did this the other night and it worked pretty well.

I made a sugar syrup (1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar, heated until the sugar melts, then cool and keep in the fridge) which I've been using to sweeten the chai. I usually use sweet & low but it tastes awful in chai!

So ... the quickest way I've come up with is to brew a bunch of chai and keep it in the fridge in a pitcher. Pour a teaspoon or two of sugar syrup in your glass, add ice, pour in some of your pre-made chai, then top off with regular or almond milk. Yummy!
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Postby henley » Jun 23rd, '08, 16:47

elchai wrote:Is the Masala Chai pretty flavorful?

Of the "chai" teas I've tried from different vendors, this one has been my favorite. All the others have seemed bland or as if they were missing something. I ordered a sample & got a second as Adagio's free gift this month. PM me if you want me to send you some to try.
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Postby geeber1 » Jun 23rd, '08, 18:19

I agree, the Adagio Chai is pretty tasty! I like that it's spicy but not peppery.

My nine-year old also loves it, she feels all grown up when she has a cup of it hot (with LOTS of milk!)
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Postby forkyfork » Jun 24th, '08, 12:32

I was told the proper way to make Masala chai is to put the loose tea in milk (the creamier, the better) and bring it to a boil. Strain the tea, sweeten (if necessary - I don't), and then enjoy.

This is better than boiling in water and adding milk because the milk help draw out some of the spices.
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