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!
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:
As 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.
Or 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.
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.
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!)