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Cofftea said

Dissolving chai

I drink a LOT of Tipu’s instant Chai (I can go thru a pound in a month lol) and in my experimentation I’ve found that a good way to make it less chunky at the bottom is to use boiling water then stir til cool enough to drink (which happens faster if I use milk since I don’t bother to heat the milk) and then stir while drinking (important since a 16oz mug takes a while to drink). In fact I’ve found that this works so well that there’s almost no tea left in the bottom of my cup. The thing is, how is this possible since it’s comprised solely of tea and spices? Matcha doesn’t dissolve. Am I just imagining it dissolving?

4 Replies
52teas said

Instant teas are made through a process called spray drying. (I’ve been researching this—given the majority of people’s determination to be as lazy as humanly possible when it comes to some things, I’ve been thinking of creating a line of high end specialty instant teas.)

So, here’s how it works and the ingredients statement can still be true: Manufacturers’ steep some chai tea (with tea and spices). They strain the steeped leaves and spices just like we would, then through the use of a machine, they spray the liquid tea in a fine mist all the way around the inside of a big cylinder. The mist dries on contact with the (frequently) heated cylinder wall, and is then scraped off with a big scraper. The result is instant tea powder. Cool, huh?

In theory, if I had a $40k spray drier, I could brew some of our Mayan Chocolate Chai and create an instant version just like that. Instead, I think I’m going to try to find someone with a spray drier for hire. LOL.

Cofftea said

The term they use on the bag is “micro-ground”. Interesting.

RE: I’ve been thinking of creating a line of high end specialty instant teas… YES, YES, YES!

RE: In theory, if I had a $40k spray drier, I could brew some of our Mayan Chocolate Chai and create an instant version just like that… If you did that… I would NEVER, EVER drink another chai again… Follow thru Frank, don’t get my hopes up just to crush them. (You knew saying that would get this reaction from me, right? lol) A chai that has cayenne but no chocolate (and maybe a bit of nutmeg) would be nice too. I actually like to add cocoa powder straight to my chai.

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Hi there from Varada at Tipu’s Chai. Your “technique” for drinking our Microground is the same one I use when I drink it. Since we don’t use the spray drying technique for making our “instant” there is an actual sediment of tea and spices that you are keeping suspended by stirring it. It never will completely dissolve, just stay suspended. We like it that way because we think it makes a stronger, more full-bodied chai. Glad you like it!

Cofftea said

@Chai Goddeess, then why do I get substantially less tea chunkyness when I use hotter water? A hotter water temp gives it a much smoother mouth feel.

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