Well, this is the last chai to taste in the sample box. I was not very impressed. All I tasted was cloves, and no other spices. Vey mild other then that. There was no spice to it….sadly. I was really looking forward to this.
“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 that! The...” 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 more. This chai...” 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 loved it. But...” 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.
Indian Masala Masala ChaiEli Tea
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Masala ChaiWorld Market
I have not yet tried many other loose leaf chais, but I really like this one. You have to be careful not to oversteep it of course. This tea is good by itself with and without cream and sugar.
My favorite way to prepare it is by also adding some vanilla rooibos to it! For a 16oz I add two teaspoons of chai and one teaspoon of vanilla rooibos and steep for about 5 minutes (less time is better than extra time for the chai). I also enjoy adding a bit of cream and some dark sugar.
This tea smells great. As soon as the hot water hit the tea, I could immediately smell it from a few feet away.
I had two cups of this (I tend to make at least two cups at a time whenever I make tea).
With the first, I was actually eating some indian food (Chicken Tika Masala and Whole Wheat Naan). The spices seem to overpower the actual black tea. Very distinctive cinnamon taste. Can’t say I know what cardamon tastes like, so I don’t know how much of a presence it made.
I also tried it with milk (fat free though, since that is all I have at the moment). Seemed to smooth the flavor a bit, although regular milk may work better. I don’t usually put milk in my tea though, so I don’t know if that is the case.
One thing I noticed, is that the flavor seemed to dull as the tea cooled off.
Pretty good for when I want some black tea, but don’t quite want it to taste like a black tea.
Sample from Hoálatha
I found this cup to be very bold with layers of spices. This tea has a very thick mouthfeel. I’m getting a slight astringency in the aftertaste, but overall a very tasty brew. I added a bit of milk halfway through to counteract the astringency—which actually helped the profile of the tea to smooth out a little bit.
I received a sample pouch of this chai with my most recent Adagio order. I was not exactly thrilled. I have hated all forms of chai since I was a teenager. I don’t remember why I developed such a hatred for the stuff. I love tea and I normally like spicy things, so one would expect chai to be right up my alley. Sadly, one would be wrong, or at least one would be wrong most of the time. I did not find this chai to be all that bad.
I followed Adagio’s brewing guidelines for this one. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose material in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 10 minutes. At one point, I tried a shorter steep time of around 8 minutes, but I could not detect much of a difference from the longer infusion, so I will be limiting myself to a discussion of that specific preparation. I also tried a 10 minute infusion with an addition of milk. I will comment on that one briefly.
Prior to infusion, the loose tea and spice blend greeted me with overpowering aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. I failed to note the aroma of ginger. After infusion, I again noted pronounced aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. I again failed to pick up the presence of ginger. In the mouth, I detected strong notes of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and ginger underscored by traces of cream, malt, caramel, and toast. The tea base seemed a little weak to me. I also noticed that as the liquor moved from the entry to the finish in the mouth, the notes of cinnamon and ginger became increasingly dominant. I think it may have been a good idea for Adagio to rein in the cinnamon a bit. It was a little distracting. Interestingly, this chai came across as richly and boldy spicy, as well as a bit bitter and biting. Trying this same preparation with an addition of milk yielded a slightly smoother, sweeter, silkier brew. The milk seemed to bring out the tea base a little more, but it unfortunately further muted the cardamom and clove aromas and flavors to a limited extent.
I don’t know. I fully expected to hate this stuff, but I didn’t. Actually, I thought it was pretty decent for a masala chai. Granted I have not exactly been consuming chai on a regular basis or anything, but I could still get through this without many complaints. I think the fact that it was more robustly spicy and a touch more bitter than I was expecting made me appreciate it more. If I had more of it, I would try it with both milk and a touch of either honey or sugar just to see if the cinnamon and ginger could be tamed a little more.
Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Caramel, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cream, Ginger, Malt, Spicy, Toast