drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
1183 tasting notes

Made this using the stovetop method. This is the first time I’ve made more than a sample size of any chai using that method, and I learned something pretty major.

This time, since I put in two cups of water, the water didn’t boil away in the first ten minutes of boiling. I actually think it tastes better when the water does boil away, so next time I’ll either boil until it’s mostly gone or I’ll make it in smaller batches. On the other hand, having two cups of milk go into the mix allowed me to boil for five minutes after adding the milk. I expected this to take the excess water out, but I don’t think it quite did the trick. The flavor is delicious, but the consistency isn’t as creamy and chewy as it was when I made the Samovar and the Golden Moon. My guess is there was about a fourth of a cup of water left in the mix and that this was enough to dilute the creaminess.

I used two tablespoons of chai, which frankly seems the right amount — I can imagine maybe using 1.5 instead, but not much less than that for this amount of water/milk. Tasting it now, it’s strong, spicy and has a kick, but it’s really yummy.

Note to self: Next time try less water, maybe 1 or 1.5 cups, and maybe a tiny bit less chai, maybe 1.5 tablespoons, boil 10 minutes, then add 2 cups milk and boil 5 minutes.

As for the flavor, there’s a lot of cardamom and a lot of pepper. It’s less gingerbready than the others I’ve tried, which I think has something to do with the consistency as well as the spices. Although I’ve never had authentic Indian chai, I have had authentic Indian food. It’s a somewhat intangible thing, but the feel of the spices in this is similar to the feel of the spiciness of the food — without necessarily being the same spices, if that makes sense.

Not sure where this will ultimately fall in my chai pantheon, but for now it’s getting a fairly high mark.

Boiling 8 min or more

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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