This was yet another chai themed product that Mrs. Teaist spotted on her way home from work and thought I’d maybe like to try.
After removing the plastic outer lid and peeling back the protective foil inner I was greeted by an intense cardamom aroma, and lo and behold in the ingredients declaration cardamom was listed as the principal ingredient in the chai masala, along with cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, and cloves.
I was pleasantly surprised to see jaggery down as an ingredient, but surprise turned to incredulity and finally disappointment when after reading the ingredients forwards and backwards more than a dozen times I was unable to find any mention whatsoever of tea.
Yes indeedy, mes braves, this is an instant chai that, according to the ingredients, contains no tea.
Well, at least all the ingredients were both ecological and fair trade. I suppose that counts for something.
Wondering if this might be an omission from the label, I checked both the Danish importer’s website as well as that of the German manufacturer, but no, the label was correct. Tea was not mentioned once as an ingredient.
Just to satisfy my own curiosi-tea, I made up the drink as per the instructions on the label – 3 teaspoons per 250 ml mug or cup, boiling water, stir.
It tasted, surprise surprise, of sweet, hot, spicy milk.
Then, inspiration struck. Would it work if I added it to a cup of the tea I use as a base for my own homemade chai masala, namely Emona Brand Ceylon tea?
I brewed up a 400 ml pot, and when it was ready I poured out slightly less than a mug full. I spooned in the right amount of the chai powder, and gave it a good stir.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the resulting beverage. The sweet/spicy/milky aspects worked well together with the tea. It has to be said that it felt as though this version, using “real” tea, had a much more satisfying body to it than other instant chais that rely on black tea powder.
If I had one gripe it would be that towards the bottom of the cup things got rather “bitty” due to undissolved powder, which also left a layer of residue once the cup was drained. This might be overcome by adding the chai powder directly into the pot, and then pouring into the cup through a tea strainer, perhaps.
Still, it would be interesting to find out i) why the manufacturer didn’t include tea in the powder to start with, and ii) why adding the powder to your own black tea of choice wasn’t even given as a serving suggestion.
In conclusion, then – I think I’ll file this one under “interesting, but when it’s gone, it’s gone…“