Country of Origin: India, Zimbabwe
Region: Malabar Coast, Chipinge
Shipping Port: Cochin, Durban
Grade: January #1, Decaf Flowery Fannings
Altitude: 500' ft. 2000' ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: CTC and Hand chopped
Cup Characteristics: Robust and full flavored with an intoxicating masala spice character
Infusion: Bright and tending coppery with rosy highlights
Ingredients: Luxury decaffeinated black tea, Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander, Clove, Black pepper
Throughout India stories abound as to who created the heavenly mix of spice and tea known as Chai. One of the more believable theories holds that it was created by Indian gypsies hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years ago. Gypsies live in almost every quarter of the Indian sub-continent. And although there are many different tribes with unique customs and stories, oral histories maintain that they all descend from the Lohar people, an ancient group of blacksmiths known to be fierce warriors. Legend has it that the Lohar originated in the city of Chittorgarh but were defeated in a battle in 1308 and forced out of the city. From that point on, they became a nomadic people and traveled by caravan wherever the dusty trail took them.
Hmm, if you think that sounds like the perfect opportunity for sampling and collecting spices from all the various and far flung corners of India, you'd be right. Over the centuries the gypsies developed a very flavorful and spicy cuisine using whatever spices they had available to them in the different places they would stay. Gingercardamom...clovescoriander the list is almost endless. Being surrounded by incredible spices, a good cook gets a few ideas. Now although nobody knows exactly when it happened, at some point, someone decided to try adding a mixture of spice to a pot of hot tea. (At the time, gypsy tea was brewed using milk instead of tea in order to fortify the body during long caravan rides.) The spices blended with the hot milk and tea and created the most wondrous beverage. Spiced chai was born!
Over the ensuing centuries, chai grew to become India's most popular drink. In fact, chai is as synonymous with India as oranges are to Florida. Well, we're pleased to bring you the exotic flavors of India's most popular drink in this fantastic decaffeinated form. A superbly smooth mixture of spices and a top quality Indian tea, this is one brew you'll want to take with you wherever you go. Brew a pot and transport yourself mentally to the gypsy camps of old a magical tea!
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].