Talk over Chai


You know sometime in Summer, I am going to have to go get Iced tea and Creme Brulee at Tea Haus again. Now if I went there, I’d want a Pot of Hot Tea instead. I discovered that it is better to eat Creme Brulee right away, rather than stopping for pictures. The caramelized top hardened quickly. However, now I can look back at the pictures and realize how lucky of a day it was.

I am waiting for the delivery of pizza since it has been a while since I had pizza delivered to my home, usually I go to the pizza. Being one in the night energy, I think I will work on Chapter 3 once it gets a bit later. (Update: I picked the wrong kind of Pizza.)

I am finishing the last of a tasty Rishi Organic Microbrewed Chai. I plan on brewing my own chai concentrate in the future from a chai that is being delivered from India. Yep, I am getting more San-Cha Chai. I plan on brewing it for a long time in the slow cooker to get a strong spicy concentrate.

However, I have the disadvantage. The instructions for Slow Cooker Chai Concentrate tend to add the spices hours before the tea. As the chai arriving in the mail is already mixed, I will have to perhaps over brew the tea and cover up the bitterness with honey or sweeten condensed milk. (Overbrewed tea becomes extremely bitter.)

I did find one recipe where the spices and tea were added at the same time.

This slow cooker expert called Stephanie O’Dea says to cook two hours on high and two hours on low with all the spices and tea bags in the pot. The only problem is that I have no idea how to pour liquid out of my large oval slow cooker without creating a mess… I guess practice makes perfect.

I already bought Reuseable Cotton Muslin Bags so I will not have to strain the water. I am going to use my Teavana Iced Tea Makers (without the strainer inside) to hold the concentrate which is said by some to last for up to two weeks, while others say 5 days. It must depend on if you use condensed milk (or any dairy) in the recipe.

I try to use honey as my only sweetener, as I tend to get allergies (in Spring and sometimes Fall) I do my best to buy local honey. It is costly plus high in sugar, but to me, it feels like the most natural sweetener. So if I make lemonade from lemon juice, it is sweetened with honey (sometimes I have to warm the honey to get it to mix). If I am feeling like a little sweetness in my tea, I add a little honey.

I guess I have normal sugar for cooking with so honey doesn’t cover all bases.

Here I am wondering how many weeks it will take for the chai to arrive from India. Last time it took a month for the package to arrive. It is supposed to be 1-2 weeks and it has been 9 days. As I cannot track the package, it could be any day now.

Perhaps I could take pictures of my chai concentrate making progress and post my results. This is intended to save money because the only chai concentrate that is as good as when you brew it yourself the traditional way… is the one I just finished that cost me a little over $7. It is also hard to come by with only one store in Ann Arbor offering it in their Zingermans Coffee Shop at Plum Market. So it had been years since I bought it but when I tasted it again at the coffee shop, I had to buy it. So good.

I stopped to sip what was almost the last sip of it. Yep, might be the best chai I have ever tasted. I would have to do a side by side comparison with the one from India to see which is better. I think the Rishi Organic Chai Concentrate is a bit spicier, or at least uses a different ratio of spices. When I use the one from India and make it according to the traditional instructions it tastes a bit more like what you would buy at an Indian Resturant.

However, making chai the traditional way is time-consuming, so I am hoping I will be able to create a good concentrate from the same tea mix, so I can just add milk when I am ready to drink.

Wish me luck on my money saving process.


Categories: Beginnings

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2 replies »

  1. I know nothing about making chai tea that way. It would be interesting to see how it is done. I get the Chai black tea by Stash brand. I just leave the tea bag in it because I like the extra strength of spiciness that adds compared to taking the bag out after five minutes.

    • Yes, Chai is often brewed longer than the english brew their tea. It is often made in a pot on the stove. There are many ways to make it depending on the area of India. Brewing over an hour is something I have never done. I used to use my iced tea maker and brew the chai for an hour when I did not know how to make tea the correct way. Americans tend to be less picky about brew time than the English. I like tea and right now I am letting the Spearmint brew extra long, but it is herbal so it will not hurt anything.

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