My wife bought a 100g box for $1 at an in-store supermarket promotion, and I couldn’t wait to open the box when she got home, just to enjoy the aroma. I drink all my tea black, with no sugar, as milky tea often leaves me feeling a little… well… “blah”. Traditional chai is obviously quite milky, but the aroma out of the box was heady and reminded of when I first tried chai back in my university days, I just had to try it again.
Hari Har Chai outline two brewing methods on their box, the “traditional method” and a “quick” method. Following the traditional method, I added cold water to the tea, brought it to the boil, reduced the heat and added an equal amount of milk, and slowly re-heated. I often find that I have to add sugar to milky tea (unlike black tea), and the addition of licorice root in the blend as a natural sweetener didn’t do enough for me. After the addition of a teaspoon of sugar, the result was quite enjoyable.
I brewed up some more today, and thought I’d strengthen the flavour by gently boiling the chai for a couple of extra minutes before adding the milk. Oddly enough, the result seemed less aromatic and less flavoursome than my previous brews (where I reduced the heat as soon as it came to a boil).