PRODUCT REVIEW: Chai Masala Spice Blend from The Chai Cart

Where to Buy:  The Chai Cart on Foodzie

or visit The Chai Cart website for more information

Product Description:

Make any tea into “Masala” tea by adding this magical blend of eight spices known for culinary flavors and therapeutic qualities.

When brewed with black tea and milk, this spice blend makes a bold, fragrant and smooth cup of Masala Chai that will transport you to India in just one sip.

The magical mix of eight spices is perfectly balanced so that no single spice dominates the palate. The boldness of cloves and nutmeg with the spice of ginger are balanced with the fragrance of cardamom and the sweetness of cinnamon. Fennel and white and black pepper add further layers of complexity.

This blend can also be used with green tea or rooibos as well as in soups, stews and countless recipes that need to be spiced up!

Taster’s Review:

This blend of spices is so versatile that it could be used in just about anything.  I considered grinding it fine and using it as a rub on a pork loin, but then, remembering that I still had a teeny-tiny bit of my Sweet Caramel O’Mine tea, I decided that I would use my sample of this spice blend as an enhancement for a cup o’ Spiced Sweet Caramel O’Mine.

I used three teaspoons of the spices with three teaspoons of the tea blend.   This made a very pleasant 3 cups of bold and spicy tea.  I added a dollop of honey and found that it was just perfect served this way.  To make a latte, I would have reduced the amount of water that I used to brew (only 2 cups of water) so that the milk wouldn’t dilute the flavors.

And … OH MY GOODNESS.  This is good.  Somehow the spices bring out the burnt sugar aspect of the caramel, giving this an almost sweet-and-savory kind of taste.  I think the nutmeg and the caramel compliment each other so well!

The main spice flavor that I’m tasting is the ginger, which when combined with the white and black peppers give this cup a very peppery kick!  The cinnamon comes just after the ginger, and the cardamom and cloves add pleasant dimension.  I can’t taste much of the fennel here, and while I do like fennel, perhaps it is a good thing that I can’t taste it too strongly with this tea.  I think it might taste a little too funky with the caramel.

I really like this blend.  I think I may be buying a tin of this in the near future so that I can use it on my next pork loin roast.  If I do this, I’ll be sure to post a review and the recipe on my Foodie Blog!

Mint Chai from The Chai Cart

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Chai Cart

The Chai Cart on Foodzie

Product  Description:

This blend of full-leaf black tea, dried mint and ginger makes a bold yet refreshing cup of Mint Chai. The fragrance of these invigorating yet soothing herbs will calm and recharge you. The key to a good, wholesome cup of chai is the tea itself. Our tea comes from organic estates in Assam, the source of India’s most famous tea leaves. Our tea and spices are perfectly balanced to create a soothing and inspiring cup of Mint Chai that can only be found at The Chai Cart. Reuse the tin container as gift/jewelry box or to store spices.

Taster’s Review:

I was excited to try this chai, especially after my SororiTea Sister’s glowing review of it. And it IS indeed delicious, and after trying it, I can see why she loves it so much.  The mint is strong but not overwhelming while the spices are moderate.

The black tea offers a substantial, bold taste to the cup.  There is a fair amount of drying astringency to the tea but no bitterness.  A good, solid black base that can be tasted amongst the strength of mint and ginger.

As I said previously, the mint is strong, but it isn’t overpowering.  Sometimes, mint can be a rather selfish herb when used in tea and it can overwhelm other ingredients, but here it’s balanced well.  The ginger peeks through the minty taste, and the peppery flavor of the ginger compliments the crisp mint flavor.  I can also taste an occasional hint of lemongrass … just a hint.

And as much as I’m enjoying this cup, I feel like it’s missing some spice.  The spices aren’t as well-rounded as I would like.  Perhaps its because I tried The Chai Cart’s Masala Chai blend first, and it was so pleasantly spiced, I think I was expecting the same Masala spice blend used here.  That being said, I like this for what it is.

I have tried this Mint Chai twice now, the first time I prepared it, I brewed it extra strong and served it latte style with some steamed, frothed milk.  While I did enjoy it prepared this way, I found that the milk was a little too much for this chai, the mint tasted a little muddled and the rich flavors of the black tea were masked.

This time, I decided to go “non-latte” and I like it much better this way.  It even has enough flavor to it that it doesn’t need sweetener, although a dollop of honey would bring out some of the more delicate notes.

The mint and the ginger together make this a perfect choice to sip after meals.  It is very soothing and delicious.

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