Desi Masala Chai Blend from Tea People

masala_chaiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea People

Tea Description:

A robust, full flavoured malty Assam blended with traditional spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.

When tea was first grown in India to break Chinese monopoly on tea, it was not a popular beverage among the locals. The usual practice was to drink ‘kadha’ instead which was water and milk boiled with spices (as was recommended according to the Ayurveda, an ancient alternative medicinal system based in India). The Indian Tea association (at that time under the British) promoted tea among them in the preferred British way by adding a little milk and sugar. However Indian vendors began adding tea to the kadha they drank already. Although the Tea association at that time frowned at this practice as this reduced the usage (and thus the purchase) of tea leaves, the practice stuck and Chai tea was born! A perfect morning tea or a tea for a busy day.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Desi Masala Chai Blend from Tea People smells amazing!  Even before I started brewing it … the dry leaf smells so spicy and enticing!

And it tastes even better than it smells!

The ingredients of this chai are the “usual” suspects:

Premium Assam black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves .

But they are blended perfectly!  The black tea base is an Assam, and it is rich and malty.  It has a full, robust flavor that provides a perfect platform for the spices to express themselves.  I love that I can taste notes of each spice in each sip and that it’s not all about one spice or the other.  They aren’t competing with one another, they’re complementing each other.

The spices are strong and flavorful, but it isn’t TOO spicy.  It’s spicy … but this cup isn’t all about the heat.  I can taste the complexity of the spices.  I’m getting the peppery tones … but I can even taste some of the sweeter notes of the ginger!  The cinnamon is a sweeter cinnamon but I get some heat from it too.  But this isn’t that red-hot candy cinnamon flavor.  It tastes true to the spice.  I’m tasting some of the eucalyptus notes of the cardamom and some of the warm, zesty flavor of the clove.

It’s a collective of all the spices, but even though I can taste the individual notes, there is a seamlessness about the flavor too.  It is a very beautiful marriage of warm and sweet spices.

This chai tastes amazing served straight up with no additions, but it also makes an amazing latte.  You can brew it stovetop in a 1:1 ratio of milk and water, or you can brew it at a concentrated strength in water and then add a splash of warmed milk after the brewing process is complete.  I prefer the latter because it means less mess in the kitchen and I’m all for that!

I do recommend a little bit of sweetener to accentuate the spices.  I recommend using either raw honey or turbinado sugar (I prefer the turbinado sugar because I love how the hints of molasses to the sugar meld with the sweeter tones of the spices!)  You don’t NEED the sweetener to experience the spices, though, but, I find that sugar and spice is very nice!

A really great chai!  I’m loving the teas from Tea People!

Also, please check out Tea People’s indiegogo fundraising campaign to help tea garden workers!

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