Note: Originally posted on Saturday, May 14, 2011
Texture: Coarsely chopped herbs, spices, and tea
Scent: Highly aromatic, spicy, strong scent of cardamon and cloves
Steeped: No more than 3.5 minutes in mesh ball
Appearance: Murky brownish-orange color, has a bit of foam on top after adding hot water
Taste: Intense spiciness, exotic, very pleasant flavor and aftertaste, no acidity
Additions: Completely optional! It doesn’t need anything to make it great, though I usually add some sugar. Milk or cream makes for a real treat (a latte), the flavor is quite strong so you won’t lose the essence.
Chai has become one of my favorite teas, specifically referring to the traditionally South Asian spicy drink. I have tried many varieties, searching for the perfect blend. The worst would be what you get at a restaurant like Starbucks, which tries to pass off an overpriced, weak tea as “chai latte.” Not much better are the powdered teas that come in canisters, I guess for those who can’t figure out how to steep tea. Then there’s the chai latte concentrate that comes prebrewed, sweetened, and you simply add milk to taste. Nothing comes close to actually taking the time to make the tea for yourself. As far as that goes, I believe the variety I’m drinking now is the best I’ve had, you can really taste all the spices.
If you could drink paradise, this is roughly how it would taste. Obviously I’m crazy for spices, especially those used in sweet foods and drinks. Just smelling this blend is close to ecstasy.