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Hubby and I love authentic Indian chai, that is, hot tea with a combination of spices (“masala”) added. Our favorite Indian restaurant serves up a chai that is mild yet quite flavorful. As a result, we are totally spoiled and very picky about our chai. The Tazo stuff from Starbucks is no longer palatable, as far as I am concerned. Also, a chai we tried awhile ago was overwhelming in its use of cinnamon. So are brands like Twinings.
We told the Tipu representative this when he asked if we wanted to try their chai. He was willing to give it a shot. So were we. So here goes:
The Subject: Instant Black Chai Tea from Tipu’s Authentic Indian Chai. (My humans will be posting a write-up on the company on the Tea Time blog tomorrow and will link to it from the review of the second sample the company sent.)
Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: See comments
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings added: Spices
Aroma, dry tea: Fresh and spicy, with cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, black pepper
Aroma in the cup: Spicy
Taste in the cup: Balanced, smooth, spicy kick with each mouthful but not overwhelming
First, I know what you’re thinking: “Instant chai?” Yes, instant chai. Well, at least it was loose and not bagged (but you can get it bagged, if you want). Straight from the package, it looked like fine cocoa powder at first, but it had the fragrance of all those spices.
Next, you don’t use any water, only milk. We highly recommend that you do NOT use skim/non-fat milk. If you are lactose intolerant, their label says soy “milk” is an acceptable substitute.
Finally, take a sip of the tea unsweetened to decide if you need sweetener or not. We definitely did, but you may prefer to taste the spices fully. We recommend that you stir the tea a time or two during your enjoyment, especially if you let it sit a bit.
As one reviewer pointed out, you get a bit of “stuff” left in the bottom of your cup. Mark, one of the company owners, says this is natural and is mainly the spices. You will have to decide if this is acceptable to you. Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal and neither did that reviewer. We are just both bringing it to your attention to be thorough in our reviews. Of course, since the package label says the tea and spices have been “formulated to disslove [sic],” I was rather surprised to see this “stuff.”
The letter that came with the sample states that it can be used in various recipes, including making chocolate. We didn’t try this, but if you do, let us know how it went.
Hubby and I don’t fall for the organic mumbo-jumbo nor assume that something labeled “organic” is going to be better quality (often, it’s just more expensive).
Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.