Country of Origin: India, Sri Lanka
Region: Travencore, Nuwara Eliya
Shipping Port: Cochin, Colombo
Grade: OP (Orange Pekoe)
Altitude: 4800 - 7600 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: Creamy Madagascar vanilla notes dance with tingling Malabar Coast spices. A lively ginger finish is accentuated by candy cardamom
Infusion: Bright and tending coppery with rosy highlights
Chai is such an integral part of Indian culture that it is virtually impossible to avoid when traveling through any part of the Indian sub-continent. Even when fresh cold drinking water cannot be found, you will inevitably encounter a chai-wallah, or chai seller, yelling out, chayee! chayee!
While riding the rails in India, the call of the chai wallah can be heard at every stop proffering their delicious hot drink. It is not uncommon for a chai-wallah to board a train in the middle of the night and wake up passengers to sell chai. The chai arrives in small clay cups that customers throw from the train windows when finished!
Indian chai is typically made using a rich black tea, usually an Assam, and brewing it in heavy milk with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. The drink produces a warm soothing effect and engenders a wonderfully calming effect on the body. We've taken the soothing aspect of this blend one step further and added a dash of vanilla. This addition of vanilla adds a hint of creaminess to this tea a fantastic addition. Brew this tea piping hot and add some sugar to help open up the exotic flavor of the spicy blend that makes up this tea. Just try and stop yourself after one cup!
IMPORTANT: Turn your bag of Chai upside down a few times. The powdered spices can settle at the bottom of the bag during transit.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 5-10 minutes (for true 'Chai' steep at least 7 minutes). While the tea is brewing prepare your cup to receive the chai put 2 teaspoons of sugar in the cup and add milk (about 20%) of the cup's volume. When the chai is ready pour into your cup.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea, steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice, milk, sugar and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water].