Chai tea is one of my favorites. I love the spiciness of the cloves and cinnamon. Nature Chronicle cites the drink as “the oldest beverage next to water,” getting its start back in 2737 B.C. China. It was believed to have healing powers at the time.
While all Chais are similar, no two are the same. From Teavana, to Celestial Seasonings, Bigelow and even Lipton– there are many chais to try. So today, I’m kicking off a new weekly tea review series, “Chai Challenge,” where I will review and compare chai teas.
While I am all for loose tea, the nice thing about Stash teas (and a select few other brands) is that each tea bag comes individually wrapped. This preserves flavor, which means that unlike loose tea, I don’t have to hurry to drink it.
Depending on what you’re in the mood for, there are many ways to prepare this (and other kinds of) chai tea. It is very strong alone, but usually I drink it plain, with just below boiling water, steeped for approximately three minutes.
If you’re up for more of a challenge, try your hand at a latte. To prepare a tasty hot chai latte, I add half near-boiling water, and half milk (dairy, soy, almond– whatever kind you want), in addition to one teaspoon of sweetener (I’m a sucker for Teavana’s German Rock Sugar) and a pinch more cinnamon, topping it off with whipped cream, because what’s a latte without that? As the whether warms up, this variation is also great over ice, though I skip out on the whipped cream for that.
There’s a reason this tea is so good, and it’s in the name. This chai is very strong in spices. Cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice and cardamom layer a strong, slightly bitter (but not too much) taste over Indian muscatel Darjeeling and Nilgiris black teas. The result– a full and balanced aromatic chai, with just the right amount of caffeine to give you the boost needed to start your day.
What’s your favorite Chai? Comment below and I will review it.