Chai thread!

Milk or half and half?
What's your favorite recipe?
Does it matter much if spices are cheap or expensive?
What's your favorite source for spices?
What is the best sweetener - brown sugar, turbinado sugar, something else?
-ak (rainy)
Reply to
AK

My wife is more of a fan than me so by proxy I end up sampling a few here and there. The best chai I've had actually came from teabags and I think the brand was "Fantasy" they came in a plastic tub-like container from a now-out-of-business Indian market. With that I'd either use turbinado or a simple syrup made from yellow lump sugar and usually just some skim milk.
I had a really good green tea chai latte (Geez that's hard to admit truthfully) from my local Border's bookstore cafe I believe it was Seattle's Best. It had a matcha base and was really great.
I normally have the spices just around for cooking purposes if I want to experiment with my own, I get them in medium sized clear plastic bags hand packed at a different local Indian market. They are super cheap compared to buying spices in a grocery store and I'd have to imagine they are fresher and higher quality than most. I don't have anything perfected to actual amounts though since again, it isn't a major favorite of mine but I do love heavy cardamom and not much in the way at all of spices like black pepper. I do tend to make chai or Thai iced tea when we have guests over though so I get some practice.
- Dominic
Reply to
Dominic T.

Would chinese greens work for chai?
How about latin-american or arabic grocery spices - we don't have indian ones here.. ? I got green cardamom from an arabic grocery but the thing about it is that sometimes grains in pods are black and sometimes (less often) they're light brown. I suspect that's not a good sign of quality of cardamom. I'm not even sure which ones I should use - I guess the black ones & discard brownish? Latin-american groceries here don't have cardamom at all... It's annoying that there are no health food stores here because I'd prefer to buy organic spices.
I did try a cardamom-only chai recently. Pretty good, I need to use more cardamom next time.
Reply to
AK

There are two species of cardamom. One has small red pods, the other had big black pods. They taste different, and the Urdu words for them are different.
The big black kind is much more smoky in flavour, and it's not very commonly used in a tea masala although I have had it in tea before and it's good.
I tend to add a little cardamom and a little clove to cheap assam tea. It's good. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Reply to
Scott Dorsey

Hmm, by pods you mean the outer shells that contain small black seeds, right? I have cardamom with green pods, small black seeds (usually) but sometimes seeds are brown.
Do you use half and half or milk? How long do you boil the tea? -ak (rainy)
Reply to
AK

Right, that's small cardamom, also called green cardmamom or Z. elettaria. The other kind is less common, it's called big cardamom, black cardamom, or Z. ammomum.
I make masala tea black, I don't do the chai with milk thing, but you can use milk if you want. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Reply to
Scott Dorsey
one tblspoon black tea (cheap and strong) one cup water one cup milk (no half and half here, dunno if would be better) bit of cadamom, ginger, black pepper White sugar (i tried many different kinds of sweetener, i still prefere normal white sugar it seams)
thats how i do it :) adding malt coffee (
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) can also be great
Reply to
hoelk
I buy tea masala which is nothing more than curry masala minus the tumeric. Cardamon flavored teas are popular in Arabic stores. I like Indian bread baskets served with all you can drink chai.
Jim
> > >Hmm, by pods you mean the outer shells that contain small black seeds, > >right? I have cardamom with green pods, small black seeds (usually) but > >sometimes seeds are brown. > > Right, that's small cardamom, also called green cardmamom or Z. elettaria. > The other kind is less common, it's called big cardamom, black cardamom, > or Z. ammomum. > > >Do you use half and half or milk? How long do you boil the tea? -ak (rainy) > > I make masala tea black, I don't do the chai with milk thing, but > you can use milk if you want. > --scott > -- > "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Reply to
netstuff

In India you can go into tea shops and have them make up tea masala for you to your own tastes.
Most of the prepackaged ones I have tried either have so much cardamom that it overpowers everything else, or (like the House of Spices brand) have lots of black pepper. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Reply to
Scott Dorsey

re: white sugar - are you sure it's not because same amount of it will be ~1.5x sweeter than brown sugar?
I should try molasses one of these days.. I need to buy molasses for bread anyway.
Here's what I'm doing now:
* half and half * simmer 15 mins * stir all the time * turbinado sugar
The neat thing is that it really fuses into something entirely different than just tea with added milk. 15 minutes and stirring really create a new beast. The only issue I'm having is that the tea I have (Shahrzad) isn't very good so if I add too much of it, it becomes bitter rather than strong tea-flavored. I think a decent assam might work much better.
-ak
Reply to
AK

Why would that be? Today's brown sugar is just white sugar with a little molasses added... it's not like panela molida where there's a lot of other stuff in there. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Reply to
Scott Dorsey

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