|"Yogic Chai Original Masala Chai makes an Original flavour with fairly Un-Original ingredients."|
Mmmmm… Masala Placebo…
What? Where was I Oh, yeah, A while back the proprietors of Yogic Chai, Ricardo & Angela Da Costa, asked us for feedback on why we wouldn’t buy from them. The biggest reason cited was the website, it was an exceedingly busy, quasi-blog-like affair. I’d just like to give a hearty pat on the back. Their site now has a clean, simple interface that reduces what they had to just what they need. On to the Chai.
As they are now giving out one free sample a month, I figured what better choice than a Traditional Masala chai. Making my first foray into their selection with something like their Lemon Grass Mate Masala Chai seems a bit like reviewing a steakhouse on their lemon chicken. Sure I ‘could’ do it, but I don’t think it would give me an honest perspective of a company that focuses on traditional, and non-traditional, Indian tea blends. One nice touch was the little card with preparation instructions, ingredients, and a bit about the blend. The ingredients are fairly traditional for Masala Chai, namely: Assam, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Cloves. I can completely believe the claim that their blends are prepared to order, so can everyone at my apartment complex actually, for you see, the mailboxes now smell, possibly irrevocably, but certainly strongly, of Indian spices.
As per the card, you should always obey cards don’t you know, I simmered the herbs in the water for about 4 or 5 minutes, then added milk and simmered an additional 2-3 minutes, I followed this with a dash of honey to sweeten. Admittedly, I could have been more academic and made the blend sans additions, but this is Masala Chai and I would prefer to review it for what its supposed to be. Again the freshly ground herbs pay off and my entire apartment smells like tea, which sort of fits. Now the real, and only valid test, the taste. Hard work always pays off, and only by adding that little bit of effort have they taken something as common as their ingredients list is, and turn it into something so wonderfully uncommon.
The herbs hit you in the way only really good chai can, they remind me of spiced rum, or Hot chocolate in a way. Their warming, and enticing, they burst on the tongue in arrays of spice, and sensation. Assam is normally something I can’t stand, and yet in the tasting I can tell that only Assam could be tasted through the waves of Cinnamon and Cardamom. Its a very front of the face sort of flavor, really working hard at the front of the nose, and the center and tip of the tongue. It reminds me of Gingerbread cookies, and cinnamon sticks in mugs of hot cocoa, and all sorts of other wonderful middle class childhood memories I saw on Holiday specials. I have a strong and abiding sensation that I’ll be doing a little more looking around their site, and a little more ordering, and a little more research as to why my spell check keeps reading the American spellings of words as incorrect… Bloody British spell check…
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