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84
drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
933 tasting notes

Made this using the stovetop method. This is the first time I’ve made more than a sample size of any chai using that method, and I learned something pretty major.

This time, since I put in two cups of water, the water didn’t boil away in the first ten minutes of boiling. I actually think it tastes better when the water does boil away, so next time I’ll either boil until it’s mostly gone or I’ll make it in smaller batches. On the other hand, having two cups of milk go into the mix allowed me to boil for five minutes after adding the milk. I expected this to take the excess water out, but I don’t think it quite did the trick. The flavor is delicious, but the consistency isn’t as creamy and chewy as it was when I made the Samovar and the Golden Moon. My guess is there was about a fourth of a cup of water left in the mix and that this was enough to dilute the creaminess.

I used two tablespoons of chai, which frankly seems the right amount — I can imagine maybe using 1.5 instead, but not much less than that for this amount of water/milk. Tasting it now, it’s strong, spicy and has a kick, but it’s really yummy.

Note to self: Next time try less water, maybe 1 or 1.5 cups, and maybe a tiny bit less chai, maybe 1.5 tablespoons, boil 10 minutes, then add 2 cups milk and boil 5 minutes.

As for the flavor, there’s a lot of cardamom and a lot of pepper. It’s less gingerbready than the others I’ve tried, which I think has something to do with the consistency as well as the spices. Although I’ve never had authentic Indian chai, I have had authentic Indian food. It’s a somewhat intangible thing, but the feel of the spices in this is similar to the feel of the spiciness of the food — without necessarily being the same spices, if that makes sense.

Not sure where this will ultimately fall in my chai pantheon, but for now it’s getting a fairly high mark.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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