6 Tasting Notes
Doing some serious spring cleaning, and the good people at freecycle will be benefiting :) Yummy masala helps me part with my things, the spices fill my heart so there’s no need to hoard useless stuff.
Today I tried a different steeping method. 5 grams in 12oz boiling water, still in a pan on the stove. Boiled for 6 minutes and then added 8oz milk, some honey and simmered some more. Didn’t keep track of how long, but it was kind of long, since I poured the chai into a 16oz problem and it all fit.
This is quicker and less troublesome than my previous small-batches brews and still very tasty. A good option to try when I want a treat in a huge mug.
Oh, and I doctored up the tin of Masala Chai. Took some cardamom pods and a quarter of cinnamon stick, mashed it in the mortar and mixed it really good. That was what my packaged mix was missing! The original version was charged with cloves and pepper, this upgrade rounds up the flavor.
The smell from the tin is just gorgeous but, sadly, an empty promise. Does not translate into the cup at all.
First steep was 2.5gr/7oz water at 90C for 3 minutes. Forgot to rinse the leaves, big mistake: some unwanted astringency. The taste was obscenely floral. I’m not the greatest of palates since my idea of Earl Grey is Twinning’s, but it definitely should not taste like field flowers at dusk. This is more like a Lady Gray. Decided to add a teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk to balance the astringent part.
Second steep was 4 minutes, the tea was balanced, the floral part not as potent but still there. No need for milk. 3rd steep for 5 minutes, regular tea with a hint of bergamot.
It was a bad day, the weather changed and my ankle was troublesome again (tore ligaments 6 weeks ago), so I went on strike and stayed in bed the whole day… And in my mind being sick and having yummy tea go hand in hand :)
The smell when you open the tin promises more than what the tea actually delivers, but still, first steep was nice. Not as spicy as the old loose leaf Tazo chai, but still good. Others comment on the cinnamon-ess, but my cup was more ginger-peppery, almost no cinnamon. Base on my experience with Adagio’s Thai Chai, I steeped 5grams in 7oz water for 5 minutes and added 3/4 teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk, which I found is the ideal amount of sweetness.
Tried a second steep and the tea part was blah. Spices were still there, cloves were the predominant, but the both the color and taste were lacking.
Third steep (yes, after a bland second steep I attempted a third one) I changed the modus operandi: boiled the old leaves for 5 minutes and then pass everything plus 1/4 teaspon new Ceylon Sonata to brew in the kyusu for 5 minutes. That did the trick: the spices were back, the tea was strong again. It was lovely.
Got greedy and tried a fourth steep boiling again for 5 minutes and resting 5 more, without new additions. Was not very sucessful, but it was still better than the 2nd steep.
All in all, it was a perfect tea for a sick and rainy day. Made me feel comforted.
First tasting, did some experimenting with the tea.
First steep was 5.8gr/7oz water for 5 min. I liked a lot, could taste the ginger kick and the subtle lemongrass, but it was missing something. Second steep at 6min I added half a teaspoon of sugar, it was quite lovely. 3rd steep for 7 min with sugar was a bit bipolar: some sips were nice, others soapy.
Bought a really cute 6oz kyusu for less than $5, came home so excited that I overloaded on oolong :)
Warmed the kyusu, added 5gr tea and rinsed. First steep was 2.30, found it a bit too much, perhaps 2 min would have been better. Second steep was 2.30 again, this time it was perfect. 3rd steep tried 2.30 again and the first sips were good, buy by the end of the batch I decided 3 min would have been better. 4th steep was for 4.30 min, maybe 5 min next time. 5th steep was weak. The leaves still smell lovely, but maybe this tea only does 4 steeps.
What would I do next time? Take my time! I drank the whole thing in less than an hour :)
I’m a newbie and this was one of the first loose leaves I was able to get my hands into. By itself it’s a bit blah, but I usually add 5 drops of homemade vanilla extract (couple of vanilla pods in a small jar, fill with vodka, wait for 6 months shaking each month) makes it lovely.
Today I tried rinsing the leaves for a couple of seconds and it helped lower the astringency and took care of some sediment.