Kenyan Chai

Tea type
Black Chai Blend
Ingredients
Organic Flavours, Premium Black Teas, Spices
Flavors
Anise, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 12 oz / 354 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “From the old 52Teas. I prepared this in a saucepan, with 2% milk (roughly two parts water, one part milk). The masala chai blend is the first I’ve encountered with ras el hanout, a North African...” Read full tasting note
  • “I loved the idea of a Kenyan black tea base with unique spices! I’ve had this a couple times without writing a tasting note. So I’ve been trying to find the sweet spot with this one. First of...” Read full tasting note
    73
  • “i love cooking with ras el hanout as it has such a deliciously, complex flavour. There can be as many as 30 different ingredients in some blends and it’s often customized to the blender. The jar...” Read full tasting note
    81
  • “I want the man equivalent of this tea. Dark, smooth, and rich. Perfect with some milk and honey. The base tea gives it such a nice depth and isn’t outshone by the spices at all. The spice blend...” Read full tasting note
    80

From 52teas

So chai is popular the world over and from what I can tell, the recipes for chai are typically pretty similar in the spices used (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, etc.). We had some rich GFOP Kenyan black tea which I thought would be great for a chai blend, but I wanted to combine the Kenyan tea with spices that are more specific to Kenya. So I did a little research and I found that in Kenya folks do a lot of cooking with Ras el Hanout, which literally translates “top of the shelf” and consists of a mixture of a bunch of the best spices available in the region. They grind all of these spices together and the result is Ras el Hanout. The specific mixture of spices included is frequently a well-guarded proprietary secret, but the Ras el Hanout that I used for this chai listed the ingredients as:

“Tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, anise seed, cardamom, galangal, anise star, cayenne pepper, garlic, nigella, paprika, rosebuds, salt, ajwan seeds, lavender blossoms, mace and other spices.”

Whatever is in it, it is very fragrant, and it makes a lovely and interesting chai that is at once familiar and still just different enough to make it unique. You’re going to want to get your hands on some of this tea. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you guys think about it.

About 52teas View company

At 52teas.com, you will find unique, hand-blended artisan loose leaf teas: a new limited edition creation every week of the year. We pride ourselves on offering truly unique, one-of-a-kind tea blends that you won’t find anywhere else.

5 Tasting Notes

371 tasting notes

From the old 52Teas. I prepared this in a saucepan, with 2% milk (roughly two parts water, one part milk).

The masala chai blend is the first I’ve encountered with ras el hanout, a North African spice mix. What is in this particular blend, I don’t know because the packet doesn’t specify. Generally, as Wikipedia says: “Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric. Some spices may be particular to the region, such as ash berries, chufa, grains of paradise, orris root, monk’s pepper, cubebs, dried rosebud, fennel seed or aniseed, galangal, long pepper.”

I can’t pinpoint any specific spices, and even though the mix has a subtle bite, it does have a flavorful presence. There is a prolonged aftertaste. The base tea is a CTC black tea, which contributes a brisk and very malty taste. Overall, this recipe produces a strong, cockles-warming cup.

I just finished the last of this blend. It no longer exists for me. I would recommend it, but since it’s from the old 52Teas, it’s discontinued. My father was also favorable towards it.

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73
2754 tasting notes

I loved the idea of a Kenyan black tea base with unique spices! I’ve had this a couple times without writing a tasting note. So I’ve been trying to find the sweet spot with this one. First of all, the leaves themselves don’t look like there actually is any spices… it looks like mostly black tea. However, the description mentions that with Ras el Hanout spices, they are usually ground together, so you can’t see the big spice pieces like in a typical chai. Trying it with one teaspoon seems a little too weak. Two teaspoons might be a little too much — the brew looks raisin colored, as well as tastes mostly like raisins! Otherwise I’d say the main note is licorice. I’m not much of a fan, so the licorice problem might be me and not the tea. A little bitey with two teaspoons, so maybe 1 1/2 would work.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 2 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

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81
1908 tasting notes

i love cooking with ras el hanout as it has such a deliciously, complex flavour. There can be as many as 30 different ingredients in some blends and it’s often customized to the blender. The jar in my cupboard is more earthy in flavour for instance, with more emphasis on turmeric and cumin. This one places more emphasis on the licorice flavours of the anise though there are other nuances that I can discern as well. I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of black licorice, but there’s something that I find very appealing about this blend – maybe it’s because the anise, while distinct, isn’t all-encompassing. It’s a neat new take on the traditional chai and I’m glad I ordered an extra pouch from the 52Teas sale.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
57 tasting notes

I want the man equivalent of this tea. Dark, smooth, and rich. Perfect with some milk and honey. The base tea gives it such a nice depth and isn’t outshone by the spices at all. The spice blend used is perfect, I love that it isn’t overwhelmingly cinnamon or clove.

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84
95 tasting notes

This is a really yummy chai. The licorice flavors from the fennel and anise are really shining. The taste is savory and spicy, but not bitter or hot spicy. I don’t really notice much in the way of pepper. I like this plain without milk or sugar, but also look forward to trying it with milk and sugar.

Flavors: Anise, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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