Review: Tipu’s Slow Brew Original Chai

Black Tea, Cardamom Tea, Chai Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Clove Tea, Fair Trade Tea, Ginger Tea, Mint Tea, Nutmeg Tea, Organic Tea, Pepper Tea, Tipu's Chai Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Full-flavoured, bright, spicy, and interesting."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.1/10
Other Teaviews: Erika gave it 8.5/10
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tipuschaitealogoThere's a pretty big divide in the North American Masala chai market. It seems like the teas either fall into the "genuine, fresh-blended, full-o-spices" category or the "fakey, syrupy concentrate/black tea with some unenthusiastic spices thrown" in category. The latter category is why I thought for the longest time I didn't like chai, while my first fresh cup from the former category changed my mind forever. Then this blend saunters along and defies everything I believed. It's basically a powder with both ground spices and ground tea, yet it smells like a kick in the mouth. It's intense.

I toss an indeterminate amount of tea in with 6 or so cups of water and some sugar, and let it simmer on the stove until I feel satisfied it's strong enough. I'm not exactly picky about my chai strength, so I tend to play it by ear. Then I throw some milk into glasses and try to strain the tea into said cups. Holy unstrainable, Batman. It's so fine it keeps clogging up my mesh filter, and by the time I manage to get all the tea out, I'm not exactly happy. But one sip and all is well with the world. It's got kick, and it's not just a peppery taste. It's got pepper aplenty, but also a satisfying amount of flavour and depth and boldness. It tingles strongly on my tongue, yet it doesn't burn it, though this experience may vary from person to person.

Now to try the hopefully less infuriating experience of steeping this one cup at a time rather than trying to strain it by the gallon. This seems to work pretty well. The cup turns out fine, and straining it is less infuriating, but now I'm left with the problem of all the little particles that are stuck in my metal mesh strainer. In the future, I'd probably go with this method.

Bottom line: Based on this being a choppy powder, I'm surprised at how full-flavoured, bright, spicy, and interesting it is. It doesn't quite reach the level of a really good, full, fresh-chopped spices chai, but it is leaps and bounds above your average bagged or concentrated spice teas. I think the rest of what I have on hand is going to be relegated to being bagged and taken to work because this needs neither much room to expand nor being prepared on the stove to bring out the flavour. It's good and easy to prepare, so on the days I want some kick without the effort, I'll be glad to have this around.

— To purchase Tipu’s Slow Brew Original Chai, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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