|"I was happy with the results of the first method and a little intimidated by this second option. How much stronger could this tea get?"|
For my first few cups I tried a stovetop method by using one heaping teaspoon of chai added to one-cup water and one quarter cup of 2% milk. I brought the ingredients to a boil, then reduced the heat and allowed it to simmer for five minutes. The aroma was completely intoxicating. Rich, strong, and spicy, the scent filled the room and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I strained the mixture and added approximately one teaspoon of agave. After the first sip I was met by a wave of spice. No one spice stood out at first, the taste was just overwhelmingly spicy. The black tea in the mix was missing in action as the spice reigned supreme. After a few more tastes, the allspice and cardamom began to stand out. Even though the tea base itself was overwhelmed, I must say I very much enjoyed the many cups I tried.
After looking over the Up N’Atom website, I had to try their alternate method for brewing. They recommend preparing the chai in the evening and allowing it to simmer for 30 minutes, then removing the tea from the heat and allowing it to sit overnight. This method is meant to allow plenty of time for the spices to mingle and settle. I was happy with the results of the first method and a little intimidated by this second option. How much stronger could this tea get? I again used one heaping teaspoon of chai with one cup of water.
The next morning the liquid in my saucepan looked like maple syrup. Out of curiosity, I measured the amount of liquid and it had boiled down to a half-cup. I added one half cup of water back to the pan as well as one-quarter cup of 2% milk and turned up the heat. The familiar scent once again filled the room. I transferred the tea to a cup, added one teaspoon of agave, and bravely took a drink. Not surprisingly this cup had plenty of spice, but the ingredients blended into a marvelously smooth cup of chai. It was absolutely delicious. The only downside to this chai would be the relative lack of actual tea. I have a small amount of my sample left and next time I’ll try adding more tea to it and see what happens. If you love a strong spice flavor…and we’re talking in-your-face kind of strong, I can’t think of a better chai. I loved it.
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