Masala Chai / Shafa Blends

Shafa blends is a quaint little store located in an unassuming business strip mall.

We were in Baltimore for my Grandma’s funeral. Going right before her funeral may seem like it was a weird idea and ok it really probably was but who really is in a good state of mind before a funeral?

I wanted to give you this back story because it ties in with the rest. We walked into the store and we were greeted by the nicest lady. Throughout the course of our few minutes there she was incredibly kind, even without knowing our circumstances. When asking what I was in for today I said for their spicy chai.

She wanted to be sure I was ready for the spice level, I assured her I was. Now as I sit here drinking two cups of it, one with milk and one without, I can’t help but think of my grandma who was somewhat of a spicy lady. One of my favorite stories from her is when her family, 11 in all not sure of how many were there then, were all seated around the table and there was an argument.

My grandma lost the fork she had been waving around and it ended up piercing the ear of one of my aunts. Sounds kinda terrifying writing it but everyone laughs with tears rolling down there faces whenever it is told.

My apologies for digressing from the main topic but I thought I would deviate a little from my usual writing. For those who are curious this truly is a perfect spicy chai. Great with milk or on its own. When on its own it elicits an even spicer tone but the first touch on the palette is clear and silky. Don’t be fooled though as this quickly turns around and punches you in the throat. The after taste is spicy. A minute late after finishing and I still have a spicy sensation.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Shafa Blends

Description:

Our signature Masala Chai tea has an incredibly aromatic South Indian blend of spices with black tea, impeccable cardamom notes, spicy kick from ginger and black pepper. When you steep this blend in milk, the flavors blend in beautifully, and the addition of a little honey takes the flavors to another level. The longer you steep the tea blend in hot milk or water, the spicier the brew will become (a heat-lovers’ delight).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas

White teas have not always been my favorite kind of tea, but they have grown on me with every new flavor I try.  Since I already like chai teas, I was predisposed to enjoy White Cap Chai from Beach House teas.

This is a wonderful take on the lighter side of chai.  The white tea is earthy and smooth, and gently floral. It makes for a vegetal chai without being grassy like green tea.  I was thrilled to find a new low caffeine option for chai that isn’t based in rooibos teas.

I adore the mix of spices in this tea, especially the addition of fennel.  Fennel occupies that space between sweet spice and savory herb, and brings a new layer to the expected spices like cinnamon or ginger.  Added peppercorns also play into the more savory earthiness of the flavors.

Despite some big chai spice players like cloves, anise, and cardamom, the spices themselves are gentle enough to still allow you to taste the white tea and more understated peony flavors.  This kind of balance with a spicy tea really shows that the blenders at Beach House Teas know their stuff.

I will have to stock up on White Cap Chai to help balance out all the other black tea or rooibos chais I’ve got in my cupboard.  White Cap Chai is versatile and unexpected, perfect for the changing of seasons or for my ever-changing palette for tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Beach House Tea Co.
Description:

White Cap Chai is a lighter version of the traditional chai making it delicate and unique. This beautiful chai is made with 100% organic white peony tea leaves and organic spices. It’s a modern twist on a sweet and spicy classic. The chai gives you a smooth, mellow taste with subtle layers of flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Full Moon Chai from Plum Dexlue. . . .

I often find chai a little bit too aggressive. It’s SO. MANY. SPICES. It’s sometimes bitter, or overbearing with the cinnamon. Many people seem to agree, since mixing milk into chai is the typical approach.

Plum Deluxe wondered: What if chai were combined with… cream? Naturally? Without you having to add sugar or milk in yourself?

As a dessert tea aficionado and someone who travels around a bit, let me tell you, I am ALWAYS on board with such a notion. I don’t always just HAVE milk on me. Sometimes I want to throw some loose leaf in a travel container and GO. I want that sweetness, but not that effort.

This is a good solution to a problem you may have not considered. I’m really happy that this happened. Give it a whirl!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Full Moon Chai was one of our original blends, now back with even more creative energy.  We’ve taken our classic, signature masala chai and added a splash of vanilla butternut extract. This simple twist adds a depth, warmth, and vibrancy to your traditional chai, and also gives the flavor a hint of sweetness and creaminess without having to add lots of sugar or milk (though we do like this blend prepared as a traditional masala chai or chai latte).

It makes a great pairing for those indoor days where you need something warm and comforting.  It’s also a lovely companion for those moments when you need a high-caffeine blend to give you focus and momentum, and it’s even good for a delicious chai cocktail or three!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rose Chai from Tea Dude. . . . . .

This is a tasty chai, but I can’t taste the rose.

Which totally stresses me out, guys.

I want to be like “the rose notes are a pink rose, first bloom of spring, a tender, easy rose, like the kind you buy for a fresh love.”

Or perhaps “this rose is a sultry red, the color of midnight kisses and lipstick on the collar. It’s the last wisp of your lover’s perfume on your clothes as you drive away into the shuddering rain, alone.”

But I can’t taste that.

I’m getting a lot of spices. Which is totally what a chai should be — a violent slam to the face of cinnamon and its squad. So crazy-spiced that you’ve gotta cut it with vanilla almond milk to handle it.

A rugged, full-throttle, roadrunner-speed lightning-streak from your tongue to your stomach. Boom.

Your eyes widen a little wider and you realize that you had been tired all day — and now you’re awake.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy: Tea Dude
Description

Chai with a hint of Rose Hip. Nicely balanced flavor. Great hot or cold. Use approximately 1 tsp. per cup. Steep until desired strength.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!