Classic Masala Chai from Chai Safari. . . .

As a chai tea lover, I’m surprised I haven’t run into more Chai Safari teas in my experience.  Needless to say, I was excited to brew up a cup of spicy tea and try a new flavor.

I took one look at the dry leaf of this tea and immediately wanted to look up the ingredients.  The black tea leaves are processed into small pellets, which is typical for some types of chai, but I was confused when I saw the green tulsi leaves mixed in.  It’s not everyday that you see green ingredients in a chai tea, it’s usually lots of golden ginger and warm, brown cinnamon. Classic Masala Chai blend from Chai Safari has many of the classic chai staples like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, but it mixes in some more surprising ingredients like black pepper, tulsi (holy basil), and saffron.

Brewed this is everything you would expect from a chai tea: bold and warming, with the spice-cookie flavors of ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.  I love the idea of the peppercorns in my teas, but it is hard to pick out the pepper flavor in this brew. Maybe some of the heat I associated with the ginger is actually from the black pepper.

The piece that sets this chai appart is the inclusion of tulsi and saffron.  These herbs add just a hint of floral sweetness in the scent and aftertaste. These refined flavors are an unexpected compliment to the bolder spices and made me realize that there is more to chai than ginger and cinnamon alone.

I will have to adventure into Chai Safari again and check out more unexpected chai tea flavors!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Chai Safari
Description: The Classic Masala Chai is India’s most popular chai. India’s own home grown recipe and consumed as a staple beverage across the country. This blend of exotic spices is the experience that will take you for a trip on this journey. The chai has dominant flavours of dried ginger and cardamom pods with a touch of black pepper’s spicy aftertaste. The sweet undenotes are delivered by cinnamon, Tulsi and a pinch of Saffron.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Indian Masala Chai from Storehouse Tea. . . .

Indian Masala Chai. I have had a number of them. But Indian Masala Chai from Storehouse Tea is something to put on your most beloved tea shelf! It’s not TOO spicy but the spice seems JUST RIGHT for my palate and perhaps for yours, too! There is a certain amount of SMOOTHNESS that comes along with this one, too! Mysterious but NOT unheard of. It’s ALMOST like it has a HINT of vanilla or cream in there but it doesn’t!

As a matter of fact the ingredients in this loose leaf chai include Fair Trade Organic black tea leaves, Organic green cardamom, and Organic cinnamon, Organic ginger, and Organic clove, Organic whole pod cardamom and Organic Black Pepper.

I’m not sure how they did it but they did! There is that bit of smoothness – or creaminess – that helps round everything out in this chai! It’s a glorious thing, really!

Storehouse Tea says their Indian Masala Chai is a robust and classic full flavored black tea blended with traditional whole Indian Masala spices, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove. They also say this tea is bold and stimulating. I would agree!

Finally they say that Masala Chai should be brewed strong and served sweet with milk when hot or pour it over ice as a chilled Chai tea latte. This is where I differ. But that is the beauty of tea. We have choices – differences – preferences – favorites – habits – and ways of doing things that make it our own. I, for one, had this chai straight-up with nothing added and loved it just as much as the next person! I raise my cup to you – Storehouse Teas! Another fantastic offering!


Here’s the scoop!

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

A robust and classic full flavored black tea blended with traditional whole Indian Masala spices, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove, this tea is bold and stimulating. Masala Chai should be brewed strong and served sweet with milk when hot or pour it over ice as a chilled Chai tea latte. Black teas have shown impressive cholesterol lowering abilities

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory. . .

Hope & Glory is a new company to me but this was a lovely introduction to their teas. While exploring their site, I noticed they had an interesting assortment of tea collections which see the teas sorted by certain characteristics. This particular tea is part of the Rajah Collection which is Hope & Glory’s collection of special and unique teas.

In keeping with the idea of “special and unique” I decided to do something new and different when I prepped this tea. I used a glass of skim milk and about 2-3 teaspoons of tea and heated it over the stove, bringing the milk to a boil and then dropping the heat and letting it simmer for 10 minutes. Alright, so maybe it isn’t that innovative a brewing technique, especially for a chai, but this method was new and different for me.

As I stood at the stove whisking away for the entire 15 minute process, all I could think was “this better be worth it” and now that I am sipping away at the tea I made, I think I can say it was. Normally I brew chai the same way I would a latte, by steeping it in boiled water and topping it with steamed milk. This honestly brought everything together much more harmoniously. As someone who doesn’t love chai, this is a drink I am really enjoying.

What stands out to me is the ginger. It isn’t contributing heat but there is a huge punch of ginger flavor that is providing an awesome contrast to the more sweeter flavors here such as the milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The cloves are also front and center, contributing another flavor punch while still feeling as though it mixes perfectly with the rest of the ingredients. Creamy and delightful, this tea has a whole lot going for it. As someone who finds spices in chai are often way off balance, this one is really doing it for me. Now I am wondering if that is the tea or the prep method? Either way I am glad I have some more of this sample left so I can have this again. It’s the perfect spicy/sweet treat to keep warm with on the cold evenings ahead.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Hope & Glory
Description

A full-bodied blend of organic Ceylon black tea and spices, Masala Chai derives from the Hindi literally meaning ‘mixed-spice tea’. Spices such as cardamom and cinnamon have been expertly blended to give a warming, rich blend of flavours and a sweet aroma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rooibos Masala Chai from Blue Lotus Chai

“Ready to savor in a moment” says the packaging, and it’s true: this tea is in a finely ground powder form, just mix it in your mug with hot water or milk and it’s ready to drink. I used the recommended ratio on the packaging, using a teaspoon of sweetener, and 50/50 hot water and hot (almond) milk. I used a stronger serving of the tea powder because I like my chai extra spicy. The powder is a rich, dark brown, smelling strongly of cloves and cinnamon. In the hot brew, the ginger brings its trademark heat and cardamom adds a pop of herbal warmth. It’s everything I want from a chai: the warm and spicy Christmas flavors, and since it’s rooibos, it’s decaf so I can drink it any time of day.

For future brewing, I would treat this like I do matcha, sifting the powder first for the smoothest blend, and whisking it to add a bit of foam on top. I always feel like it’s a challenge to get a chai spicy enough for my tastes, and this powdered tea style makes it easy to bring the heat. I might give this a try with hot water, no milk, and a slice of orange as an alternative brewing style. I just got a sample size of this tea to try it out, but I’ll have to order a full bag of rooibos masala chai from a Blue Lotus Chai sometime soon!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Red Rooibos (ground)
Where to Buy: Blue Lotus Chai
Description:

100% Certified organic and caffeine-free, our Rooibos Masala Chai appeals to a broad cross-section of customers. It has a similar taste profile to our Traditional Masala Chai, but with the delightful base of naturally sweet and nutty rooibos. Those who cannot or wish to not drink a caffeinated chai, can freely indulge in their favorite BLC drink.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

It’s Time To Get Your Chai On! Organic Masala Chai from Full Leaf Tea Company

Organic Masala Chai from Full Leaf Tea Company was my morning companion recently. I was looking for a straight-up chai. CHECK! Organic? That’s ALWAYS a PLUS! Check!!! Full, plump, and obvious ingredients to the eye? CHECK! I’d say this was a complete SCORE! But how does it TASTE? Let me tell you!

Organic Masala Chai from Full Leaf Tea Company uses Certified Organic Black Tea from India mixed with organic ginger, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, and organic cloves. The traditional ingredients and spices you have come to grow and love in a chai, right? RIGHT!

It’s spicy, bold, and slightly sweet. It’s not the most intensely flavored chai I have ever tasted but it doesn’t disappoint that is for sure! It has a nice medium strength black tea base with medium strength spices to boot!

I found this to be completely satisfying on the recent cold wintery mornings here in the snowbelt. I think this is a chai that would please the masses!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:
Where to Buy: Full Leaf
Description

An absolute delight! Spicy, bold, and sweet all in the same cup! The finest ingredients have been brought together for this premium organic chai blend.

Certified Organic Black Tea from India is mixed with organic ginger, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, and organic cloves.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!