I love my masala chai and make my own tea masala as I have yet to find a masala blend that we as a family like. I got sent a variety of ICHAI spiced teas to try out over the Diwali period. One was in an attractive tea caddy and the others were in sealed foil packets all of which would good great to include in a Diwali or Christmas hampers.
The Ichai brand is the brainchild of Dr Helen Saini (PhD), who previously worked as a plant biologist developing better tasting, healthier plants for Unilever. This experience, combined with her passion for traditional Indian chai, led her to found ICHAI. Helen says, “With ICHAI my aim is to make traditional chai properly, without any artificial ingredients and using the milling methods that I have spent years developing to produce and retain the best taste and aroma. The way we prepare our spices is very important. Spices are individually ground to an exact specification that delivers the optimum flavour potential for each spice – this involves using the correct machinery and grinding to the optimum particle size. These specialist methods are the the reason why ICHAI blends have such an exquisite flavour and intense aroma.”
When I opened the spicy tea caddy comtaining spiced tea -I loved the spicy aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, cloves and ginger . The mixture looked and smelt just like the tea masala my parents used to make in Kenya. I could see the tiny pieces of the spices used to blend the tea. I couldn’t wait to brew the tea.
I used the masala chai blend to make masala chai the traditional way by boiling the tea and milk in a saucepan and the tea tasted very authentic and spicy. We had it with some muthias and sev puri chaat. After all any time is tea time.
I also made tea following the instructions on the tea package. I didn’t have a tea infuser so I made it in a cafetiere – allowing it to brew for 5-7 minutes and it worked fine.
The tea tasted great without milk too but I like to add a couple of teaspoons of milk to mine.
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Disclaimer: I was sent samples of IChai . All the opinions are my own.