Saturday, 8 August 2009

Tea of the Day!

Chai Tea: Ratings Vary

First off, despite varying tastes, I LOVE the smell of chai. A closed bag of the loose tea made my purse smell like cinnamon for a while. :) (Aside, 'chai' means tea, so saying 'chai tea' is a bit redundant). The first taste of chai I ever had was a sip of someone else's and it tasted like pumpkin pie in a cup. Yum. I have never figured out how to make my own cup taste like that. Chai is good made with water and milk, though it is made more often with milk. On that note, I generally prefer soy milk to cows milk, as it is a little sweeter and thus lends more flavor to the tea. The chai from Wellcat, Tazo, and Stash are all VERY spiceful (yes, I know it is a tea of spices) and I find them a bit overpowering unless I add some honey or other sweetener. My personal favorite is Oregon Chai, either the concentrate or the tea bags. It tends to have less zip and more sweet. Made with soy milk, it earns a 5/5.

Extra: Chai in India
Tea became popular in India in the nineteenth
century, when the British began growing it there for export. Although colonial planters and upper-class Indians observed the rituals of English afternoon tea, the spirit of Indian tea is captured in a cup of chai (also called masala chai or spice tea): a blend of tea, milk, sugar, and spices -among them cardamom, fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and pepper- brewed by street vendors in cities, villages, and train stations throughout the country. The tea is boiled in an open kettle, and more water, milk, and sugar are added as needed during the day. The vendors, or chai wallahs, serve the drink in small, unglazed clay cups that are tossed on the ground when customers finish their drinks. Chai is often made from Nilgiri, an inexpensive tea grown at the southernmost tip of India.

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