Tea of the Week for November 30, 2020!
You may have noticed that we didn't do a "featured reblend" or a "retro Monday" tea this month. I had a tea in mind for a featured reblend, but upon entering the tea studio & beginning to work on that blend, I realized I didn't have the ingredients necessary to craft that blend & because shipments have been delayed because of Covid, I knew I wouldn't have time to order it & receive it in time to craft the blend for this month. In other words, I had to think fast & instead of a featured reblend - this is what I came up with!
I've been wanting to do a Maple Chai for quite a while & I thought that a smoky note to the maple-y chai would be just the right accent to the overall cup. Everything about this tea SCREAMS autumn!
I absolutely LOVE the way this chai came out! Nicely spiced, delectably maple-y with just the right kiss of smoke. The chai has a really pleasing, rounded flavor: robustly flavored with just the right amount of sweet maple to spicy notes & that hint of smoke! Really, really nice!
This blend starts off with a blend of a CTC Assam & honeybush. Then I added a blend of Masala spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg & black pepper) & maple essence. Next came a teensy bit of Lapsang Souchong. Not a lot - just enough to give the overall flavor a touch of spoke without going overboard with that smoke. Finally, a unique ingredient: maple cotton candy! I didn't add a lot of cotton candy - in fact, you may not notice it at all! It's kind of sticky to work with & because I am one who prefers my teas not be presweetened because I like to be the one who decides whether the tea will be sweetened or not - I didn't add a whole lot of cotton candy to the blend.
So - you might find little sugary clumps, this is the cotton candy that stuck to the tea leaves & spices - the cotton candy dissolved & what remains are these tiny sugary clumps. Because of these tiny maple-y sugar clumps, you'll want to test the sweetness of your cuppa before you add more sugar or other sweetener to it - so your chai doesn't end up too sweet.
This chai is AMAZING! It's spicy, it's sweet, it's rich & it's got some gusto to it! Just the thing for the chilly days ahead! Oh! It's also organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen-free!
Taster size is approximately 15g
organic ingredients: black teas, honeybush, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, maple cotton candy (maple syrup & cane sugar), calendula petals & natural flavors
LOVING THIS CHAI!
This is so good! The spices came out just right - warm, zesty & peppery. The Assam is bold & malty. The Lapsang delivers a nice kiss of smoke without tasting too smoky. The maple is on-point. The honeybush offers a teensy bit of sweetness, along with the cotton candy - to give this a natural sweetness on it's own. I still add just a little bit of sugar because I like my chai to be a little sweet (to contrast the spice) but I add a lot less than I usually would (a little less than 1/2 a teaspoon per 12 ounces).
While I was browsing the web one day, I came across a chai latte recipe that I've been using as of late. So in addition to the standard brewing instructions, I'll offer this chai latte recipe as well:
MAPLE CHAI LATTE
- 3 1/2 g Smoked Maple Chai Black Tea (shake the pouch before you measure it to get all those spices incorporated)
- 6oz nearly boiling water (205°F)
steep the chai for 5 minutes. strain. add:
- 6oz heated milk (I use Oat Milk & I heat & mix it in my "Cocoa Crazy" gizmo from Westbend®
once the milk is heated, I add the steeped & strained chai & keep it 'stirring' or mixing for a few minutes.
Taste it to see if it's sweet enough. If not, add just a wee bit of sugar (or other sweetener) to your liking (or add a drizzle of maple syrup if you want to intensify the maple)
I've followed the above recipe a couple of times to make my this chai latte - and it's FAB!
to brew: if you just want a straight up chai without the latte, start by giving the pouch a shake (do this while holding the pouch upside down - this will get those tiny bits of spices to incorporate throughout the blend). use 3g - 3 1/2g of leaf to 12 ounces of nearly boiling water (205°F) & steep for 3 minutes. strain & allow to cool for 10 minutes. enjoy!
As I've said before, there is some actual cotton candy in this blend - which will lend to the sweetness - so I recommend tasting before adding more sweetener of any kind. I do add a wee bit of sweetener to this - because I want just a little more sweetness than the cotton candy adds to the blend. I usually use a little less than 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar to a 12 ounce cup of chai.