The Black Tea used in this blend is a very hearty and delightfully malty Assam tea. It is so robust, as a matter of fact, that I would recommend brewing your first cup at just 2½ minutes (rather than the 3 – 5 minutes as recommended by Yogic Chai), and then experiment with it to find your “just right” steeping time.
The masala spices used in this blend are also quite strong, which I really like. Having tried strong, spicy Chai Teas, as well as softer, subtler chai teas, and chai teas that I’d classify as somewhere in between that range, I would have to admit that I prefer the brisker spiced chai teas. Sure, subtle chai teas do have their place (and I do enjoy them as well), but, there is nothing quite as warming to the body and soul as a good, stout chai tea.
One flavor that is regrettably lingering in the background here is the coconut. Unlike the aforementioned Coconut Genmaicha Chai tea, where the coconut is a more prominent flavor in the blend, I found that the coconut in this blend has a difficult time bringing itself into the spotlight when combined with the strength of the Assam tea.
That is not to say that the coconut essence is completely missing, because it is not. It is just quite a bit softer in this blend than I would have liked. That being said, it is well worth the effort to infuse the leaves a second time, because the flavor of the coconut is a bit more pronounced the second time around.
Yogic Chai describes their coconut Masala Chai as
– Assam Tea (black Tea): Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the green, oolong and white varieties. All four varieties are made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas.
NOTE:The USDA recently stated that drinking black tea may lower bad cholesterol levels and could one day be used to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Read more. Click here!
– Cardamom: A household spice that is commonly used to support digestion without increasing Heat.* It has expectorant and diaphoretic actions.* The mucus forming properties of milk are neutralized when cardamom is added to it.*
– Cinnamon: This warming spice is traditionally used in cold formulas as an expectorant and diaphoretic (sweat inducing).* Due to its warming property, cinnamon is known to promote digestion.*
– Cloves: An energizing herb,* cloves are an effective stimulant and aromatic for the lungs and stomach.* Cloves are used extensively in Ayurvedic herbology.
– Ginger: In Ayurvedic and Chinese herbology, Ginger is known to have heating, cleansing, toning and stimulating properties.* Ginger promotes digestion, relieves abdominal discomfort, dispels chills and it is also useful for relieving respiratory complaints due to phlegm and arthritic conditions due to coldness.*
– Coconut:Coconut, says vaidya Mishra, Director of Maharishi Ayurveda’s Product Research and Development, is considered a divine plant in vedic tradition. Whenever you perform a sacred ceremony like a yagna, havan or puja, a coconut must grace the occasion.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This is a very warm, delightful chai tea that would be perfect for a chilly winter morning (which this happens to be!) The addition of honey accents the spices perfectly, as well as tones down the edge of the Assam, and even adds a little highlight to the sweet, creamy coconut. Milk or cream is also a lovely addition to this tea — I wish I had some coconut milk on hand, because I would love to try it in this tea (and I think I may just pick some up the next time I’m at the market).
The milk (or milk substitution of your choice) allows this chai tea to develop such a beautifully rich flavor, one that surpasses the sugar-laden chai lattes available from the coffee houses.