Chandernagor

Tea type
Black Chai Blend
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Spices
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 16 oz / 466 ml

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27 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Ohhhh, tea of teas. You are the bestest "traditional" chai I've ever had. It tastes so similar to the chai I used to get at this tiny vegetarian Indian restaurant that sadly closed a few years ago....” Read full tasting note
    96
    OMGsrsly 1566 tasting notes
  • “sipdown! (and that makes 160! everything else tonight is just bonus time!) I can see why omgsrsly loves this chai. It's different than my preferred chais but in a good way with a spicy kick that...” Read full tasting note
    89
    Silaena 5237 tasting notes
  • “Brewed at a really low temperature because I had a green going as well. Surprisingly, this is the first time I've had this, even though it's one of the more expensive teas in my cupboard, and I've...” Read full tasting note
    84
    MissB_Tea 1146 tasting notes
  • “Ooooh... an absolutely fabulous way to ring in the new year! This is an excellent chai with a wonderful balance of spicy and sweet. Jake and I both love it, and it's totally going on the shopping...” Read full tasting note
    90
    wheezybee 253 tasting notes

From Mariage Frères

This medley pays tribute to the renowned French trading post in India, “the Half Moon City”, sited along a tributary of the Ganges in western Bengal – where the fond memories of yesterday blend into the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, the cotton mills and silk factories, and the heady aromas of tea carried by the wind.

Here black tea welcomes a plethora of imperial spices: cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and pepper make for a warming, piquant brew.

PREPARATION ADVICE FOR 1 CUP :
Amount of tea leaves: 2.5g
Best water temperature: 95 °C
Infusion time: 3-5 min

About Mariage Frères View company

Company description not available.

27 Tasting Notes

96
1566 tasting notes

Ohhhh, tea of teas. You are the bestest “traditional” chai I’ve ever had. It tastes so similar to the chai I used to get at this tiny vegetarian Indian restaurant that sadly closed a few years ago. Every pay weekend I used to go in and order two dishes, one to eat there and one to go. :) They had this incredible eggplant and chickpea curry that I still miss.

Today I had you while making pyrahi (Cranberry ones and peach ones! Although the dough was too stiff so I [GASP!] had to make them in muffin tins so they wouldn’t loose all the juicy fruity goodness. Gramma would be displeased.) and you were delicious.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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89
5237 tasting notes

sipdown! (and that makes 160! everything else tonight is just bonus time!) I can see why omgsrsly loves this chai. It’s different than my preferred chais but in a good way with a spicy kick that makes my mouth a little hot. It’s not overly hot, but the blend works well together. There’s not dominating clove or cinnamon presence which makes me happy even though i love both. I have a feeling this will be an order just so that i can play with it more with milk and honey etc… thanks a bunch missb!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

Yep, this is my favourite! Thanks for the reminder. ;) I think I’ll go make myself a mug.

MissB

You’re very welcome! I found this tin at Holt Renfrew, and they still had lots last time I was there. $24/100g though…

OMGsrsly

I know, isn’t it expensive? I got another tin right before Christmas, but there was only one left.

Fjellrev

Oooh, I saw this at HR too but was hesitant since I thought it may taste like a generic chai.

OMGsrsly

I can pop some in an envelope for you if you’d like, Fjellrev. I have loads. :)

Sil

Balzac’s here in toronto sells it…as does Williams Sonoma, for 1$ cheaper than Holt Renfrew had it. I’ll likely pick up more..if i ever have money to spend…pretty sure i blew through jan and feb budget already haha

Fjellrev

You don’t really have to, OMG, but actually, I think you should pick out some things of mine that you’d like to try so I can send some stuff over to you. :)

OMGsrsly

LOL. Can I promise to just send you one tea? I swear one tea would mean one tea, and not a well-stuffed envelope or a box!

Good to know about Williams Sonoma, Sil!

Fjellrev

Haha do whatever you wish, but I also need to send some stuff to you too. :D

cteresa

This is my favorite chai as well – though also the inspiration for me to make my own chai blend which somehow I lucked out into liking as much as this and much better than other chai blends.

Fjellrev, maybe it is a generic chai, but it´s kind of a perfect chai to my palate! Nothing earth shattering different (not the tomato and lemon darjeeling, or tea flavoured with zucchini and blossoms which is something my favorite tea blender comes up with and somehow makes it work), just black tea with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper and ginger. But it is sort of just right balance. I think Mariage Freres is often very very good at make excellent takes of classic ideas. Not new, maybe a generica idea, but sort of the best take on that generic idea you ever had.

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84
1146 tasting notes

Brewed at a really low temperature because I had a green going as well. Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve had this, even though it’s one of the more expensive teas in my cupboard, and I’ve shared a fair amount of it with Steepsterites already. I saw OMGsrsly’s note the other day on this though, and thought to myself, “I should really try this!”

I also think her review was perfect. With a touch of sweetener, this is just like candy. Delicious, creamy, sweet, chai candy.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

Oh, now I want a cup! But not at 1am. :)

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90
253 tasting notes

Ooooh… an absolutely fabulous way to ring in the new year! This is an excellent chai with a wonderful balance of spicy and sweet. Jake and I both love it, and it’s totally going on the shopping list.

Thanks so much OMGsrsly for giving me the opportunity to try it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
OMGsrsly

You’re welcome, and I’m sorry. :) A shop that sells it loose and ships reasonably to the Americas has not been found, but it’s available by the tin at Holt Renfrew over the holidays.

wheezybee

Actually, I live outside Dallas, TX and there’s a store here that sells MF loose. I haven’t made it in yet, but I think now I’ll make it a priority! :)

OMGsrsly

OMG! Do they sell online?!

yyz

If it’s the cultured cup. They do have a nice selection, but the shipping price the owner quoted to me was $30- 42 for 100-200g of tea. At that point you might as well by it from France.

OMGsrsly

That is RIDICULOUS. :/

wheezybee

Yeah – I wasn’t looking at the shipping because it’s local. Sorry! I’ll let you know when I have a chance to check it out, then maybe we could do another swap. http://www.theculturedcup.com/

yyz

I think us shipping was fine and they let you purchase smaller amounts of some teas. The price I was quoted was to Canada.

Anna

Hehehe, the splash page slideshow is cracking me up. First the name, ‘The Cultured Cup’, and then the two lovely dapper gentlemen enjoying a (cultured, I’m sure) cup… and then… REALLY CHEESY REINDEER!!!

But hey, 40% sale on Yuzu Temple – it’s a pretty nice tea.

OMGsrsly

I will have to use MissB’s US box when I’m ready to order some teas. :)

Anna

Oh, I just wanted to add that I stumbled over this one – they carry refill bags of some MF teas:

http://www.markethallfoods.com/

Nicole

Oh… I did not know that Cultured Cup was carrying loose MF. I shall have to make a point to stop by next time I am visiting. And wheezybee, you and I will totally have to meet up and go to Maudee’s or something next time I there! :)

wheezybee

Sounds wonderful!

cteresa

My favorite chai. That price is outrageous though!

BTW this is the tea which inspired me to try to make my own chai blends, and somehow that worked pretty well. I used precisely the same spices there are in Chandernagor (why mess with perfection?), and used this blog

http://reified.typepad.com/reified/2006/10/chai_on_the_go.html

as a guideline. I am pretty happy with the results though the trick is alwats the chai blend needs to age a bit, at least a month before being tried.

OMGsrsly

Thanks so much, cteresa!

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91
333 tasting notes

I did this tea not in the recommended manner but in a halfway chai manner – boiled some (unfortunately) skim milk with a tea spoon of brown sugar, when boiling added a couple teaspoons of this tea and left it to simmer for some 5-10 minutes.

And my first thought at first sip was oh, so this is FRENCH chai. I can not articulate too well why I would consider it french, but oh so smooth and refined and flavorful. But it packs some heat indeed, no matter how sweet and smooth it is at first sip.

On taste notes, it smells wonderfully at spices. In the dry tea the predominant flavours are cinnamon and cardamom and emphatically of cloves. When simmering at a boil, it´s the cloves which rule. The wet leaves, before being discarded, smelt most strongly of ginger and cardamom. The liquor (milk? tea? drink?) itself tastes equally of the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves and it´s fantastic. And the pepper finally gets its revenge in the aftertaste, with just-to-the-point heat. (If you are sensitive to chillies or pepper, better avoid this or avoid brewing this chai style). And oh so so smooth all the way, so flavorful and rich but smooth.

Another note, many people hate cloves, if you do maybe better avoid this – it´s balanced but the cloves are there. If you like cloves, absolutely get this.

If you are like me rather neutral about cloves, then do check it. I think the cloves are wonderfully used here, they bring a really exotic different flavour and seem to make the cinnamon and cardamom just so much better.

I want to try to brew this normal style, but I did love this so very much chai style brewing this normal style is not going to be a priority anytime soon.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Ysaurella

I sniffed this blend in the MF shop and found it too heavy with cloves. So decided to buy Mandalay.

cteresa

I will let you know when I brew this normal style – I found the cloves perfectly in balance on the drink, but then again I did not brew it normally. Oh and be careful, the pepper is here and bites :) ( but it feels oh so lovely this time of the year).

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84
237 tasting notes

My last serve of this until I get a chance to restock sometime in the next few months. It’s warm and spicy, heavy on the clove and ginger and with a strong black tea base that avoids bitterness. It’s got quite a caffeine kick to it as well, which is just right for an otherwise slow Monday morning. Even though I didn’t prepare in the traditional chai manner, with cream and sugar this makes a nice substitute.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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86
27 tasting notes

I went to a Mariage Freres shop a few months ago and asked them if they had anything that might encompass all the flavours of Christmas. The shop assistant was lovely and offered two blends – Esprit de Noel and, after hesitating a bit, Chandernagor. I smelled both and went for Esprit de Noel, which has orange and is smoother than Chandernagor. I didn’t end up buying Chandernagor but I found the smell impossible to forget even long after. Fast forward to now. I wanted a tea that wasn’t an indulgence for once, a tea that would wake me up in the morning and make me instantly alert and ready to face the day. That’s when I remembered Chandernagor.

It’s a very peppery blend, by which I mean that it will tickle your taste buds and focus your mind. You can’t ignore this tea. You can’t take sips while working or thinking about your next meal. It draws you in. Chandernagor tastes as good as it smells, which is strong and interesting. I taste cloves (so divine, wow), black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, in that order. It’s a rich tea that I prefer to drink really hot, the very nature of it just calls for a high temperature – I suspect it’ll burn you in iced form anyway.

4 minutes with milk and stevia works best for me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

Didn’t know this tea. Sure next time I’ll visit a Mariage shop, I’ll sniff it and probably buy 100 grams. I like very much Esprit de Noël I’m sure I’ll love it too.

cteresa

Ysaurella, I just had some and loved it indeed! So lucky I could find it locally. But I think so far it is the chai most precisely to my taste, most balanced I have yet had!

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85
708 tasting notes

Dexter was kind enough to send me a sample of this one, thanks! I must admit, I’m not a huge chai person. It’s not that I don’t like chai, but for some reason I never tend to reach for it. Perhaps that will change as the weather grows colder. This looks very chai-like – black tea leaves with lots of pieces of various spices mixed in. It smells quite nice, like a nice mix of the spices instead of being dominated by either cinnamon or clove. I only did a 3 minute steep, as I was planning on drinking it without milk and I didn’t want it to become too strong.

Steeped up, it smells lovely and warming. I did add a bit of raw sugar, but no milk or cream (I do enjoy chai with milk, but I feel like it’s hard to judge quality that way). Yum, this is a tasty chai. I can taste cinnamon, clove, ginger, and cardamom, but none of them overwhelms the blend. My cup is quite mild since I did a shorter steep, but I like it this way when I’m not adding milk. Yum!

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
OMGsrsly

This is my favourite. :)

Stephanie

I’m the same way about chai. Don’t dislike but never really reach for it

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72
73 tasting notes

I have a feeling that Mariage Freres shop people in London are far more friendly than the Paris ones. Now, this is not one of those ‘Parisians are snooty’ things, since I’ve met plenty of lovely Parisians, including lovely tea shop clerks, but Mariage Freres Parisians aren’t among them. I’ve seen other people complain about how they grumble about samples, and I had the same thing – I bought 50 eur worth of tea, and they turned their nose up at giving me a sample! They gave it to me, but they weren’t happy about it.

In London, on the other hand, I bought Chandernagor for a friend and then asked if it would be possible to get a sample as well, and the very friendly shop fella started packing up a sample for me right away – a very generous one, too! (To be fair, so was the Parisian one). And he smiled! So. Much. Nicer. And the last time I was at the London Mariage Freres, the other shop guy had a nice chat with me about his home town. I love it.

Anyway, on to the tea. I don’t love it! I am utterly unhappy that I don’t love it. After reading all the glowing reviews here I had really high hopes that I’d found my perfect classic chai, but it’s just far too spicy for me when I leave it in for long, and not particularly special when I don’t. Sigh. The search continues…

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79
529 tasting notes

Mmmm!

I say that with an exclamation point rather than a period because I am surprised.

I had decided that if I didn’t like a Mariage Freres version of chai tea then I was officially not a fan of chai at all.

However, I found it really pleasant and non-offensive!

At first I drank half the cup black, then decided that the only time I’ve really enjoyed chai was in latte form, so I decided at least to add milk and coconut sugar!

Then I really liked it. It became creamier, more desserty, and the spices were toned down which I prefer. Because this one is peppery and strong!

I will keep my mind open to chai tea in the future knowing how good it is with milk!

Thanks for the sample, OMGsrsly!

(PS – even a much weaker second steep was good with milk and sugar!)

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