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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review: Tipu’s Original Black Chai Tea

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Chai Extravaganza

Hubby and I love authentic Indian chai, that is, hot tea with a combination of spices (“masala”) added. We’re also very particular about our chai – very! 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: Original Black Chai Tea from Tipu’s Authentic Indian Chai.


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

This chai is more traditional. The non-traditional part for us is that the tea and spices are already mixed together. This is an issue we have with all prepared chais, that we cannot adjust the amount of spices in it. Fortunately, the level of spiciness in this chai was very evident but not overdone.

You might find the method of preparation a bit tedious, especially if you lead a hectic lifestyle and tend to grab a burger at a fast food joint or zap something frozen for dinner. However, hubby and I can assure you that the time and effort are minimal and well worth it. According to the package label, you can make a larger quantity and refrigerate it. That would be a time saver.

We started with a teaspoon of the chai-spice mix in a pan holding 2 cups of water. Once the water was boiling, we reduced heat and simmered the mixture for 3 minutes.

The next step is to add 2/3 cup of milk, bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer another 3 minutes. Phew! A lot of simmering.

We strained the liquid into a large measuring cup to facilitate pouring into drinking cups and sipped it before adding some sweetener. It tended to be spicy both with and without this sweet touch.

Overall, we prefer this chai to Tipu’s Instant Chai. While both have a wonderful balance of the spice flavors where one doesn’t dominate above the others, this chai seemed more like tea and less like hot, flavored milk. Probably because this one is made with water as well as milk.

The letter that came with this and the other sample stated that this chai is “appreciated by self-proclaimed ‘Chai snobs’.” Well, hubby and I certainly appreciate this chai version. I guess that makes us “Chai snobs,” a title we will bear proudly.

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).

Next, we will be doing our own chai preparation from scratch.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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