|" It brewed the same way a ginger tisane would after a ten-minute decoct. Thankfully, the blend smelled like a chai; a total spicesplosion."|
The brewing instructions were unorthodox to my occidental eye. Up N' Atom's rather basic website suggested to simmer water for thirty minutes with the spices...and then let it rest overnight. At least, that was what I garnered from it. In short, I thought it was way too complicated, and I didn't have that kind of time. Thus, my flavorful experience might not turn out to be the "ideal" scenario.
I opted for something simpler, since I was trying this at work. I took a tablespoon of the small sample I possessed, steeped it in 8oz of hot water for thirty minutes. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it like a time-rushed, paycheck-to-paycheck, overclocked, overstressed, underwhelming American. Masala chai is a burly blend. If it can't be played with, what can?
After a good thirty-minute steep, the liquor of the unsweetened/un-milked chai blend by itself was - well - yellow-fog. The lack of an actual black tea base was certainly evident in the liquor. It brewed the same way a ginger tisane would after a ten-minute decoct. Thankfully, the blend smelled like a chai; a total spicesplosion. And after thirty minutes, the water was relatively lukewarm, so the tea itself was relatively mild. Being a masala chai Layman, this didn't really bother me. I blame the mild temperature on the receptacle I stored it in, not the quality of the ingredients. The true test was how it would take milk and sweetener.
I poured the 8oz liquid medley into a 12oz cup, added 4oz of milk and Sweet'n Low. Had to make do with that since I didn't have anything awesome like jaggery at my disposal. This is where it truly shined. It was spicy, creamy, sweet, and - dare I say - mellow. Most masala chais feel like a kick to the stomach. Some people like that sorta thing, and there's certainly a place for it. The mellowness might've been due to my lack of adherence to the recommended brewing instructions. Well, I did it my way, and it paid off.
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