Sunday, January 25, 2015
Golden Tips, India's Original Masala Chai
Originating from India, Masala Chai or 'Spiced Tea' is one of the most popular black tea blends in the world. This ancient traditional recipe is prepared by blending a strong & robust black tea with an array of fresh & aromatic spices. Our signature 'Masala Chai Spiced Tea' is symbolic of the original house blend which has been cherished in India for decades now. A combination of Assam CTC & orthodox leaves blended in a varying ratio is taken as the base. The base tea is then blended with exotic and fresh indian spices including crushed cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, long pepper, dry ginger and clove. Widely distinctive from the Chai tea blends produced in western countries, the original indian masala chai tea blend stands out due the superior and distintive properties of spices grown in India.This strong and full-bodied tea is characteristic of a slightly malty flavor with exotic flavor of fresh cardamoms combined with delicate notes of black pepper and clove. Traditionally prepared only with milk, Masala Chai can also be enjoyed and taken without milk. This expertly created blend is not only invigorating and delicious but also stimulates the mind and is known to increase immunity. A must have for all tea lovers.
Sample provided by Golden Tips Tea
It does list this utilizes Assam tea, both CTC and FTGFOP1 leaves. Looking at the dry leaf, I have to go to the product description for clarification. The FTGFOP1 leaf has been orthodox processed, and the result is tiny pellets of leaf.
The description above lists spices including crushed cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, long pepper, dry ginger and clove. I am left wondering what the green thing is that looks like a pistachio shell.
The result is a pretty cup of tea. It is a deep orange that under light looks a bit burgundy. The scent is spicy but not too spicy.
Traditionally in India this would be prepared with milk. I went with a standard Western mug method using water.
The sip is lightly clove and cardamom with the cinnamon and ginger hanging back some. The pepper does combine with the ginger for a healthy bit of heat at the end of the sip. The base seems smooth and slightly malty.
At this point I add sweetener as I believe chai is traditionally very sweet. I used one packet of Splenda and that is always sweet enough for my tastes. I think, yes, it really livens things up. The flavors are brighter, more even, and cleaner. The base is more prominent as well. The heat remains the same.
Next, I added some milk to sort of imitate how the tea is intended to be prepared. If you look on Golden Tips product page, they have a cup picture. The tea has a very deep color. Yeah, mine is more tan and looks like I just added milk to a cup of tea. That said, it's pretty good.
I think the milk makes the flavors melt back into each other where they remain strong but harder to separate. The ginger and pepper bring a spicy kick to the end of the sip.
To me it is kind of a toss up between this and sweetened only, as to which I like best. I think I'll go with milk for two simple reasons, milk helps comfort the spicy edge, and I find this is easier to chug. I'm pretty sure I could easily down a gallon of it this way.
I really need to take the time soon and prepare Chai on a stove top steeped in milk. I want to know what I'm missing by taking the easy way out.
Finally, I've talked about the spicy heat from the pepper and ginger. I normally don't like the pepper in chai. Turns out I do like it just fine, when done correctly. This doesn't make you sneeze and it didn't burn my throat. It really is a pleasant spicy, just be aware if you have no tolerance for spicy heat.
You can find Golden Tips, India's Original Masala Chai here.