After all that talk about teapots and great tea, I could hardly wait to write about tea and of course drink tea, which I have all ready beside me, brewed up to the perfect brew. Today I will marry the Indian and English cultures and make a black chai tea in my Val D’or Royal Albert bone china. This is one of the few teas I actually like a little milk and honey in, it reminds me of fuzzy slippers and plodding around the house in the morning on a day when I don’t have to rush. The word chai in India really just means tea and there are likely as many chai recipes as there are households in India, and that’s a lot! I love the chai wallahs pouring their delicious concoction for passers-by on the side of the road.
When brewing your chai, remember to use a full rolling boil of 212F or 100C, use the best filtered water, and brew for 4 – 5 minutes for a full flavoured chai.
Although there are many different chais, I prefer mine, spicy, gingery and full of cardamom. Like our Abha Chai or Bengal Chai. Also a nice after dinner chai is our Chocolate Chai, which is a less spicy but smooth chai that is a nice way to end a meal. If you prefer a milder chai, still spicy but with a smoother finish, we have Taj Mahal Chai and Masala Chai. If you want a really different and very spicy green chai, try our Kashmiri Green Chai, almondy and cinnamony! For the caffeine free fan, try our Rooibos Chai, caffeine free but will the usual spiciness of chai. Here is a link to the site where the chais are listed with the ingredients.
Adding milk to your chai, helps coat your mouth and tongue so that the tannins aren’t as prominent and it helps smooth the flavour of the strong black tea. Homogenized milk is preferable because if the fat content of the milk is too low, ie 1% or 2% it won’t do the trick quite as well. I also prefer a little honey in my chai, but again that is a taste preference, sweeten it as you please.
So, gather your tea, your teapot, your cup and sit, relax and enjoy the ritual of tea time…