I wish I could think of something brilliant to say, but really, this is just darn good!
“Sipdown no. 78 of the year 2014. I could have let this go for one more round, but I felt the itch to get another sipdown in. I have discovered that there are approximately 5 tablespoons of chai...” Read full tasting note
“Sipdown! I’m brewing a somewhat strong 16oz of this to take to my gig this morning. It will stay hot for quite some time, & I can sip & savor in between songs. I love doing...” Read full tasting note
“My beloved cat is dreadfully ill, so I finished off my tin of this to soothe myself. And when I placed my Adagio order this weekend, they were out, so who knows when I’ll have...” Read full tasting note
“Super yummy! And great when it’s warm and you’re drinking it from a wine glass (it makes you feel classy). This is my second masala chai. My first was from Samovar and I...” Read full tasting note
To most Westerners, it is a little known fact that the word ‘Chai’ simply means ‘tea’ in Hindi. Therefore, all teas are technically chais. However, instead of the ‘chai’ that most Americans are used to (which usually contains really bad tea), we offer a Masala Chai tea – premium Ceylon black tea with a unique blend of spices; cinnamon, cardamon, and ginger.
Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at www.adagio.com and in many gourmet and health food stores.
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This is spicy and awesome~ !
I’ll admit, that the only other type of Chai I’ve ever tasted was Tazo’s bagged Chai tea and Chai Lattes at Starbucks, but this blows both of those out of the water for me.
Firstly the scent of this thing is tremendous. It cleared my sinuses right out. I would sell my left leg for a chai scented Vicks Vapor patch.
I might be using just a little too much tea, but this is crazy spicy and strong (even for a two minute steep). It’s okay though, I like that. A lot.
This is flavorful enough to be had without milk, which is how I usually like to take this particular tea. Milk and perhaps some honey would probably suit this tea, when it’s preferred. I also agree, I can’t really taste the black tea base at all over the spices, but I prefer the taste of the spices anyway.
All in all, my experience in Chai isn’t very diverse or extensive, but I really like this one.
The IDEA behind Adagio’s interpretation of this tea isn’t completely irrational.
Masala Chai is, afterall, generally made with very low quality tea, but then again – that’s the point. You don’t need to add sugar, spice and everything nice to GOOD tea. Masala Chai plays off its own unsophistication by making all the add-ins part of its personality. The tea is really just a base for the other ingredients to play out on your taste buds. It’s harsh and bitter enough that it gives even tea purists an excuse to throw in some milk (or, in my case, soymilk) and sugar (again, in my case, vegan sugar) so mellow it out, making it more of a fun treat than just a tea.
In that sense, making the tea with anything other than CTC Assam, promising a bold, straight forward flavor, is nothing but a novel experiment. Maybe I would be giving this tea a higher rating if I hadn’t had the following experience with it:
I wanted to make some Masala Chai for my girlfriend and her mom. They’ve both done a great deal of cooking for me over the months, and as I can’t make much more than a sandwich (and even then, not a good one) I wanted to repay the effort with something I CAN cook. My sister and I used to make MC in the kitchen almost every night, with a pan, a simple syrup, the tea, and some milk.
So I tried doing the same thing at my girlfriend’s place, with high expectations from all.
The first thing I noticed, as I neared what should have been the end of the process, was that the tea’s flavor was completely nonexistent amongst the soymilk and spices – what I didn’t know, was that the tea I was brewing was MUCH weaker than what should be used in a Masala Chai. So I brewed it longer, and eventually added more tea. I spent probably half an hour in the kitchen, trying my hardest to salvage something about of the mess. The end result, which I begrudgingly and with a great amount of chagrin served, was only drinkable because of the vast amounts of sugar I had to pour in. The ginger was absolutely overpowering, and the only flavor this “higher quality” product contributed was the unpleasantness of an over-stewed tea.
There’s definitely room in the world of tea to experiment, but when you undermine the driving concept behind a certain tea, maybe you should second-guess yourself. Maybe it’s my fault for not paying attention to the specifics of what I was buying, but when it goes to something like Masala Chai, the only variance I should be seeing is in the ratio of spices, not the tea itself.
This was my first “real” chai. All the others I’ve had were the powdered, syrupy sweet, instant varieties. Wow! What a difference! I love this stuff. I hit it with some hazelnut coffee creamer and Splenda. Can’t wait to try Adagio’s other chai varieties. They all sound great.
Over the last few years, I’ve been relatively against chai, as I am most “trendy” things. But since this summer (when my tea obsession started), I’ve tried so many new things that I figured I had to try some chai. I went with the highest rated one on Adagio, the Masala Chai.
Since I am generally unfamiliar with chai, I asked my wife how much milk and sugar I should use. We agreed that I should try it “black” the first time, and then try a couple of combinations after I know the taste.
I opened the tin and was greeted by an overwhelming spicy scent, with plenty of cinnamon. I used my new UtiliTEA kettle to heat up some water and steeped at 212º for five minutes.
In short, the tea is delicious, even without milk and sugar. The cinnamon and ginger and other spices are strong, so I wouldn’t drink this straight (or with milk/sugar) when I wanted to taste the Ceylon, but only when I wanted something different or a “treat” of sorts.
Out of the four teas in the chai sampler, this was the one I was the most excited for, but I don’t think it quite delivered. It’s tasty, there’s really nothing wrong with the flavor…except that there’s not enough of it! I like my chai SPICY, and this seemed mild no matter how long I steeped it for. I have to say, the vanilla rooibos chai wins over this one.
On a kinder note, my four year old niece tried a sip of this prepared with cream and sugar and absolutely loved it. Everytime she comes over now, she asks me to make her a cup of my “spicy tea” and I make her an iced masala chai :)