Friday, March 14, 2008

Coconut Masala Chai Review

Type: Chai
Origin: India
Price: Sample (regular price - $15 for 3.5 oz.)
Vendor: Yogic Chai
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 tsp of loose leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, boiled at 200-212F, steeped for 2 minutes, added ¼ cup of 2% milk, and steeped for another minute.
Overall Score: 4.7 out of 5

This Coconut Masala Chai is the sweetest of the three chai teas I have tasted. Just like the previous two, the first thing that I smelled and tasted was the cinnamon. The cloves and ginger are still present in every sip, but the coconut gives the brew a wholesome sweet taste.

This is definitely a very refreshing cup. I still get that over all warm feeling, but the coconut leaves a sweet after taste, instead of dryness, in my mouth. I think adding maple syrup or any other kind of sweetener would make the brew too sweet (at least for my taste).

I was worried that the Assam black tea base would make the brew bitter, like I had experienced with the Original Masala. However, the coconut added just enough sweetness to nix any of the bitterness left by the Assam.

Just like with the previous two chai teas, I brewed the Coconut Masala Chai without milk out of my own curiosity. With this brew, I could taste the coconut a little more, at first, than I could with the cup that had the milk added. However, the spiciness of the cinnamon and the smokiness of the Assam soon covered up that sweet taste and left my mouth feeling dry. The milk definitely makes the brew creamy, smooth, silky, and, with this particular blend, refreshing.

The Assam base makes the color of the brew about as dark as the Original Masala (first picture). The white milk lightens the color to a tan or light brown (second picture). It can almost be confused with a cup of hot chocolate. Speaking of which, I think adding some chocolate syrup, chocolate milk, or even some chocolate tea to this brew (or to any of the previous chai teas that I have reviewed) would make it heavenly. Ok, it may not be as healthy, but this amazing mixture of spices would undeniably add the right amount of kick to an awesome treat.

Before brewing the Assam leaves, along with the cinnamon, cloves, and ginger spices, are full of color (third picture). The white strings of coconut can easily be seen within the dark Assam background. After brewing the Assam leaves have opened up nicely (fourth picture). The smell of coconut seems to rise above the cinnamon when observing the wet leaves.

My exploration of chai tea is over… for now. However, this experience has been a huge step for me. I have heard of chai teas, but have never had the guts to taste them, until now. Also, I have always retreated back to my faithful green teas after trying a new type of tea. But this time, I have reached the bottom of my cup of the Coconut Chai Masala and I can’t wait to get this blog posted so I can go make some more! :)

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