Tea of the Week – M&S Chai Teabags

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Hey hey all,

This week’s tea of the week is going to be M&S Fairtrade Chai … unfortunately I’m not doing to be able to review it until tomorrow. I want to try brewing it in milk, which I think is the more authentic way (and there are instructions for how to do this on the box).

Check back soon!
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Okay, here we go!

This week I’m looking at Marks & Spencer Chai Teabags. Lack of good lighting is frustrating my attempts to get a good picture of the box … this is the best I’ve managed:

Box of teaAs mentioned above, I wanted to have a go at brewing this with milk … this is something I’ve never done before (well, except as part of a recipe for making earl grey chocolate truffles which went wrong (they didn’t taste of earl grey at all)), and I’m normally a “teabag out before milk goes in” person, so it all seems a bit wrong … but deliberately wrong. Which is okay.

Source: Doesn’t say where the tea itself has come from … just ‘produce of several countries’ (which considering it has 6 ingredients isn’t surprising). Tea bought from Marks & Spencer.

Cost: I think I’ve lost my receipt, but I’ve found places online selling it for £2.49 for the box (which is 50 teabags) which sounds about right. It might even have been £1.99.

Ethics: Fairtrade:
Ingredients listOr in text:
Ingredients: Fairtrade black tea (65%) – Fairtrade Ginger Root (10%) – Fairtrade Cardamom (5%) – Fairtrade Cloves (5%) – Cassia (10%) – Allspice (5%). All the ingredients that can be Fairtrade are Fairtrade certified, total 85%.

I’m quite impressed by that. I like it when suppliers detail precisely which ingredients are fairtrade and what proportion of the total product they make up.

Brewing instructions:
In water: add freshly boiled water to the tea, and brew for 3-5 minutes. Add milk and sugar if desired (I would. A bit of milk and 1tsp of sugar)

In milk (for traditional brewing): use one teabag per person, and add to a pan of milk. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, adding sugar to taste.

Appearance:

Milk in panTeabag in panBeginning to brew tea in pan

Tea brewed in panMug of tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m struggling not to describe it as “coffee-coloured” …

Nose: When brewed in milk, I can’t smell much apart from milk and cinnamon … mind you, those are rather appealing smells … when brewed in water, the spices really hit you. I was impressed by this – none of the scents was overpowering, but they were all very much There.

Taste: (When brewed in milk) creamy. Smooth. Definite taste of cinnamon and cardamom – which is gorgeous. I can’t pick out the other spices individually, but they do add to the depth of flavour … maybe I can pick out a hint of ginger.

When brewed in water – I probably won’t quite do this justice as I’m remembering it – but the spices are really strongly present, which I think is important in Chai – after all, that’s why you’re drinking it! Generally tasted lovely – good strong black tea (unlike the Pukka black spiced chai that I reviewed previously – that one is more delicate/gentle). Stands up to milk and sugar.

Either way – a comforting drink. I’d call it a bedtime drink if it weren’t for the fact that even small amounts of caffeine keep me up at night.

Food match: This would be just about perfect with a mince pie. Mmmmmm.

What’s your favourite comforting drink? At the moment I’m going for this or for hot chocolate (also fairtrade, of course!)

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3 Responses to Tea of the Week – M&S Chai Teabags

  1. Pingback: Tea Tea Tea … a retrospective | Eudoxia Friday : Thoughtful Eclecticism

  2. Pingback: Tea Review – tea India Masala Chai | Eudoxia Friday : Thoughtful Eclecticism

  3. I buy my chai tea from M&S for £1.55

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