Masala ChaiRegular price $6.25
Origin: Blended at Westholme
Ingredients: Assam CTC, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger Root, Black Pepper, Cloves
Description: People from India (and other parts of the world) are often puzzled by the North American use of the word Chai, which doesn’t actually refer to the mixture of warm spices that we’ve come to associate it with. Chai in Hindi simply translates to ‘Tea’ - in Urdu it’s Chaay, in Mandarin and Cantonese it’s Cha, in Arabic it’s chai or shai, and so on. The word Masala is actually what refers to the spice mixture itself, the contents of which depend on a few factors: the destined use of the spices (a curry dish, a spiced tea, a dessert, etc), the state or region, and even the family. There is no set recipe for a proper masala mixture, and while every chaachee (auntie) may claim to have the best, we hope you enjoy ours!
We went through several spice combinations before we settled on this recipe. It cooks well, steeps well, and is amazing on its own or combined with milk (or milk alternative) and honey. We used Assam CTC, the cut leaves of which steep to a strong, malted dark amber. The CTC (stands for Cut, Tear and Curl) tea base is bold and ideal for boiling – the traditional way of making chai – and perfectly capable of standing up to the rich flavours of the masala spices. We hand blend the black tea with organic spices – ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves. You can also cook this blend on the stove with a sweetener to create a Masala Chai Simple Syrup to make your own Chai Lattés at home.
Tasting Notes: The dark, rich malted flavour of a black Assam tea acts as the base for our tantalizing spice blend. Wonderful, fresh spices greet the nose and bring a natural, complex sweetness to the palate. Ends with a pleasant, flavourful cardamom linger and some gentle astringency on the tongue.
Brewing Instructions: 2 - 3g per cup. 100ºC water. Steep 3-5 minutes.
China has a rich and ancient tradition of producing high quality teas of all varieties, and black tea is no exception. This is where tea culture and industry, as we know it, began nearly 2,000 years ago.
Known as ‘Red Tea’ in China, the tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis sinensis plant are smaller and finer than their Indian counterparts, the Camellia sinensis assamica, and prefer cooler mountainous regions. Usually plucked by hand and gently processed, the end result are exquisitely fragrant teas with lesser levels of astringency and a soft body.
Several Chinese provinces are famous for their regional tea selections: Fujian Province is home to the well-known, pine-smoked Lapsang Souchong, while Keemun tea, the official choice of the British Queen, is produced in Anhui Province. Yunnan province produces the ever-popular varieties of Yunnan black tea and is also the region where China started its tea cultivation.
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