The cooler weather is here, and people are starting to order chai tea. We wrote about Chai Tea in a blog post a while back (here is a link) and thought it was time for an update. I was reminded that January is National Hot Tea Month, so I am getting a jump on that important holiday!
Our Serving Partners offering our Cochin Masla Chai include the following; Cafe in the Park, Oasis Cafe, Burns Court Bistro, The Breakfast House, The Bean Coffeehouse, Pastry Arts, The Selby House Cafe at Selby Gardens, and Morton’s Gourmet Market. Thank you for supporting local businesses.
Thanksgiving is next week, and a cuppa Chai before or after your meal might keep everyone awake for the Football games or the Dog Show! This is the time of year for Chai Tea.
Time for Chai Tea
Chai is the generic word for tea in much of the World. The British adopted the word as slang, and ‘cha’ or ‘char’ became the meaning of a teacup. So what is true Masala Chai?
This beverage from the Indian subcontinent is made by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic spices and herbs. The traditional process of making chai involves actively boiling the tea leaves over sustained heat with spices. While there are many preparation variations today (some not too good either!), there are four components that remain true to chai tea’s original idea.
- Strong black tea – usually Assam, but can be Ceylon. The loose leaf tea is strong, so spices and sweeteners do not overpower the flavor.
- Sweetener, usually white sugar, palm, or coconut sugars. A large quantity is required to bring out the flavor of the spices. You can use honey or agave also. Condensed milk can be used, which also adds sweetness.
- Milk, usually whole milk for richness, but alternatives like Soy, Almond, and Oat can be used. 1/4 to 1/2 parts are required.
- Spice, usually warm spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and cloves, with cardamom being the predominant flavor. Other possible additions are nutmeg, rose, licorice root, almond, and saffron.
We like to drink it without anything added, though I admit to having caught the Oat Milk craze. Other options include Almond Milk, Soy, and good old-fashioned milk.
Go ahead and try a few different options and see which one you like the best. Then put your feet up, stay warm with a cup of Cochin Masala Chai, and celebrate the holidays!
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