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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
> >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.
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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.
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
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.