So, I love chai. I should get more specific than that though, and say that I love chai lattes. Presumably one could wave some soy/milk/cream and sweetener in the general direction of a cup of chai and have done with it, but I am not that person. I like the malty-foamy-cozy-creamy parts of drinking chai, so that’s almost always how it’s prepared.
Not feeling well in the last month led to a spontaneous trip to the nearby Teavana, to which I had never been for no reason other than that I never made time to go. It also led to a flurry of spending done under the auspices of needing these various purchases to feel better, which in hindsight is weak justification even for me, but there you go. This was among the things I brought home…along with the Masala.
I should say right out that I’m just not qualified to rate this as far as being a mate, since I haven’t to my knowledge ever had any mate besides this stuff right here. As chai goes…
Today is the first day I haven’t combined it with the Masala, and I’m sort of surprised. I don’t know why I was daunted by the smell of it…it smells sharp and acrid, almost fruity (some part of me thought ‘potpourri’), a much ‘brighter’ smell than the smoky, cinnamon-heavy, shadowy smell of the Masala. I’ve been mixing them half and half and enjoying it a lot, but wanted to add a tasting note for some of these before I go through them, so decided to brew it up by itself. I wasn’t sure what to expect from making this one alone. I thought it might be overpowering or tangy, or…I don’t know. It’s not, though. It’s still a little bit fruity and floral (every time I use those words I feel like they’re not quite right, but they’re as close as I can get), but the steeping brings the cinnamon out a lot. It’s a much more balanced flavor than I anticipated. My first thought is that it would make for a fantastic option for iced chai when the weather warms up, though I wonder if putting it on ice would make the cinnamon more difficult to sense again. Something to look forward to finding out, for sure.
2 tbps. in 2c. water, simmered for a few minutes, and then 2c. milk added (1c. whole, 1c. 1%), brought to simmer again, removed from heat, stirred for a few minutes before straining to keep it from scalding. Turbinado sugar to taste. Not precisely sure on the steep time though.