The very first time I tried chai many years ago, I hated it. The truth was, it was one of those instant ones you get at the supermarket so it wasn't bound to be the best.
Now, I'll have a chai latte most days at work, or when I go out, chai is becoming one of my favorite drinks to order, instead of my usual earl grey tea or mocha.
Don't know what chai is?
Our good friend wikipedia says: Masala chai (Hindi मसाला चाय: masālā cāy, "spiced tea") is the beverage from the Indian subcontinent made by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs.
In 2009 Chai Mamma was born; as it was hard to find a chai as authentic as Indian (Masala) Chai.
It is hand blended in Melbourne (East St. Kilda to be exact), and that the tea is purchased from fair trade.
The range uses Fair Trade Certified Black Tea, blended by hand using the following spices: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Black Peppercorns, Star Anise and Ginger.
Chai Mamma's recipe has been developed and refined to ensure that the exact amount of Black Tea and Spices have been blended to give it that perfect strength and aroma.
The chai is super easy to make. I used the saucepan method:
1 teaspoon Chai or 1 tablespoon for added strength.
3/4 cup milk and a 1/4 cup of water
Bring to boil, once tea rises to the surface strain.
Add honey or sugar for sweetness.
The main difference between the Original and the Spice, is that the Spice contains the addition of star anise.
As to which one I preferred? I didn't really have a preference.
I think some people might find the cloves might be a tiny bit over powering, but both contain a lovely mix of ingredients (With the Chai maybe use one teaspoon of Chai (for one person) with more milk).
A little honey to sweeten it up, and you'll be in chai heaven.
At the end of the day, it comes down to what you prefer. Some people like their chai's with lots of cloves, others might prefer lots of cinnamon. But if you are a fan of chai, I would recommend you get your hands on a bag of Chai Mamma and decide for yourself. It's perfect, especially on those lazy days when you are soaking up the winter sun like today.
Naomi from Chai Mamma is looking for stockists, and anyone interested in sampling or wanting wholesale prices can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
What makes Chai Mamma different to other chais, is that it is hand blended and not mass produced. And the best part is that it is made with Fairtrade Certified Black Ceylon tea and mixed with the freshest spices.
Chai Mamma is available to purchase at eConvenient - 101 Poath Road, Murrumbeena (Victoria)
For more information about Chai Mamma, different chai blends and brewing techniques, email Naomi or check out the website: www.chaimamma.com.au