Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants
This flavorful and zesty blend is our own recipe – Assam black tea is mixed with carefully hand-roasted spices to provide a delightful twist on an Indian tradition. Try simmering in milk with a touch of honey.
Learn more about this chai here.
Mmm! I’m having a chai latte!
This Organic Chaz’ Chai Black Tea from Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants makes a seriously good latte! It is good and spicy, and it is still spicy after I added the milk … I love that the milk didn’t dilute the spices to the point of tasting lackluster. This is still very flavorful. YUM!
The black tea is an organically grown black tea from India. The label on the canister doesn’t elaborate about which type of Indian tea is used here, but if I had to guess, I’d say that it’s either an Assam or a blend composed of Assam. After visiting the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants website, I see that my guess is accurate, it is indeed Assam. It is rich and malty, and something that took me by surprise is that it was not as bitter as Assam tends to get after a four minute steep. There were some bitter tones to the cup in my first couple of sips – sips that I took before adding the milk just to gauge whether or not I should make a latte. The milk eliminates the bitterness … a definite plus! It is a solid tasting black tea, full-flavored and robust and it doesn’t lose that impact even after milk is added to the cup.
The spices are strong! It surprised me at how spicy this tea actually is, especially after reviewing the ingredient list and noticing that there is NO ginger in this blend? What? It’s so peppery! The peppercorns are doing a good job at providing a very savory kick to this cup. And I love the anise! Just a hint of licorice-y flavor, and I find the combination of the licorice taste and the pepper to be really delightful. The cinnamon is warm and zesty, and the cardamom and cloves add a nice background of spice. Also worth noting is the nutmeg, not just because it adds a delicious, warm nutty flavor to the cup, but, also because it is often an overlooked spice when it comes to chai blends and I love that it was utilized here. The taste is understated but it is a really lovely addition of flavor.
To make my latte, I brewed this tea slightly stronger (by adding a little extra leaf) and then I steeped it in water. Then I added a splash of milk to the brewed tea and frothed the cup a little bit with my hand-held frother. The frothing wasn’t necessary, but I like to make it a little foamy (for more foam, I recommend heating the milk first, and then frothing before adding the milk to the tea). You could also make a chai latte the “messy way” – aka the stove top method – which entails simmering milk in a pan on the stove top and adding the loose tea and simmering for a few minutes. I don’t like this because it is messy (as I’ve so aptly coined it). And when I make a mess in the kitchen, guess who has to clean it up? Me. I prefer to make my tea brewing as mess-free as I possibly can while still experiencing the true joy of tea – in other words: loose leaf! I think that by brewing this chai double strength (or even triple strength if you like a very strong chai) in water and then adding the milk to the brewed tea still yields a very flavorful chai without the mess of the stove top method.
But, hey, feel free to brew your chai any way you want! If you do decide to go non-latte, I recommend a slightly shorter steep time to ensure that your cup of chai is not bitter. This is a really flavorful chai blend – I highly recommend it to all chai lovers out there!