Bombay Masala Chai from Chai Diaries


Chai Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  Chai Diaries

Chai Description:

This stunning blend of black tea, ginger, cinnamon, green cardamom, and other natural flavors is Bombay at its finest, an alpha city with an alpha palette. Only now, you can brew it for yourself in the quiet dim of your kitchen.

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

As you’re probably well aware by now, I love a good chai!  And this Bombay Masala Chai from Chai Diaries is really, really good!  And the most surprising thing about that is that it’s in a sachet!  That’s right … I found a really, really good bagged chai!

I don’t often get excited over a sacheted tea of any type, but, I like the idea of a a sacheted chai because … as I’ve often lamented about in the past, when brewing chai “stovetop” style – simmering the tea leaves in a pan of milk or a combination of milk and water – it results in a mess.  Sure, the flavor is better when the chai is prepared stovetop, but, it’s so rarely worth the mess that I’d have to clean up to brew chai stovetop.  But, with a sacheted chai … this cuts the cleanup considerably!  This will make it EASY to brew chai stovetop, if so desired!

For the purposes of this review, however, I didn’t steep it stovetop.  I did steep it in water, extra strong – I used two silky pyramid sachets instead of one – so that I could make a latte out of it, but if you want to drink it straight, just use one sachet.  Since I was in the mood for a creamy, rich chai latte, I grabbed two sachets.  And the result is YUMMY!

The black tea is not an assertive black tea, but it is not what I’d call “mellow” either.  It manages to stand its own.  It’s strong and flavorful and offers a nice base for the masala spices.  The cinnamon is the strongest spice I notice, but it isn’t really a spicy-hot cinnamon (like red hots) or even a “sweet” cinnamon … it’s somewhere in between … or perhaps more accurately, it’s a little of both.  It’s like someone took a spicy-hot cinnamon and mixed it with a sweet cinnamon, and the result is a complex cinnamon note that is rich and really delicious.

The ginger pops out around mid-sip, and since I did take a sip of the chai before I added the steamed milk, I will say that the ginger was much more prominent prior to adding milk.  The milk softens the peppery kick of the ginger a tad.  But, it is still there … just not quite as bold.  The cardamom adds a nice, exotic sweetness and warmth to the cup, and I love the vanilla … in fact, the vanilla may be my favorite part here, because when combined with the creaminess of the milk … it becomes a very decadent treat!  Almost like dessert!  So good!

As far as “heat” goes, I’d rate this a medium heat chai.  It’s not super spicy (although it is spicier when you don’t add milk, and you don’t really need to with the vanilla notes which add a nice dimension of creaminess to the non-latte version of this chai), but it’s not what I’d call a mild chai either.  It’s got some heat to it, and it is very well-spiced … warm but not too hot.

A very pleasant chai … one I look forward to revisiting soon!

Organic Bombay Chai from The Boston Tea Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Boston Tea Company

Tea Description:

You’ll do the cha-cha over our Chai tea! Ever so popular, worldwide, Chai is a centuries’ old tradition of Indian culture. Boast to your friends about Boston Tea’s aromatic, cheery blend of black tea with sweet fragrant spices. Simply add a pinch of sugar to bring out its rich flavorful spices of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and anise seeds. Top with a generous splash of milk and sensually savor each sip!

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

Seldom do I make chai lattes anymore, usually, when I drink a chai, I drink it straight.  Sure, I still do love the creamy, spicy goodness of a chai latte, but I’ve been discovering just how lovely a chai tea is without the milk.  When brewed in boiling water, and just a touch of turbinado sugar is added to enhance the spices.  It becomes a lovely, warm and spicy blend that is delicious no matter what the weather is like outside – at the moment, it’s 72°F outside – a bit on the warm side and the sun is shining brightly, but, I still find this warm, spicy chai (served hot, no less!) to be absolutely refreshing.

When I first opened the package, I could smell the cardamom.  It had a delicious, exotic warmth as well as a hint of bright citrus tones and I could feel my mouth start to water just from experiencing the aroma of this chai.  I stood impatiently over my timer today … I WANTED – perhaps even NEEDED – this tea!

And this chai was indeed worth the wait.  It is gently sweet from the turbinado sugar (I added about a half a teaspoon), but more than the sweetness I notice the depth of the enchanting spices.  I like that the ginger and cinnamon do not overwhelm the cup – which is so common in chai blends, it seems – they are more of a background flavor.  The cardamom and the cloves tend to be the strongest spices here.  The anise is also in the background, offering its unique sweetness to the overall flavor.

I like that I can taste the tea here too.  It is rich, a little malty and smooth.  It is not bitter (although, I wouldn’t recommend over-steeping it, as that may cause bitterness), and it finishes with a tangy astringency.  The spices compliment the black tea quite nicely, providing a cup that is robust with black tea flavor as well as invigorating spices.

I really enjoyed this lively chai, and I like that it is available in both loose leaf and sachet form.  At the time of this writing, I noticed that this is currently out of stock – I hope their supply is replenished soon!