Tag Archives: chai

>Spicy (not sweet) chai

>The super-sweet chai (made from a syrup mix) served at most coffee houses is a real disappointment for me — so much sugar and cream that it’s more like warm ice cream than a refreshing drink. On the other hand, most spiced chais sold in tea bag form are boring.

Of course, there’s a complex, spicy chai made right here in Ballard: Morning Glory chai. If you have the time to deal with the complicated and time-consuming brewing, you’ll find it’s delicious. But I don’t always have time to boil a bag of spices for several minutes, strain that mixture, and then add the loose-leaf tea to brew.

Last week, at an Asian grocery in Naples, Florida, I came across a peppery, complex chai in easy-to-use tea bag form. Even with plain white sugar and skim milk it was fabulous. It’s Mighty Leaf‘s “Bombay Chai Black Tea,” Indian black tea leaves blended with pepper, orange, cinnamon, caradmom, and clove.

The Mighty Leaf chai was so good that my mother asked me to leave the box with her in Florida. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted Mighty Leaf boxes at some of the grocery stores in Seattle (QFC? The Ballard Market?).

>Tea: A holiday gift that warms you all winter

>One of the best holiday gifts is tea. It’s healthy, it tastes good, it has a long shelf life, and it comes in elegant containers.

I favor black teas, and this season I’ve gotten two fabulous ones.

Peet’s Holiday Breakfast Blend is part of Peet’s Signature Blends. Like most breakfast blends, it has quite a bit of Assam, but it avoids any bitterness. It’s an extremely complex tea. My only problem with it is that it won’t be available for very long; the “Holiday Breakfast Blend” is a different blend every yet. Rush out and get more of the 2008!

Morning Glory Chai, which is served at many of Seattle’s independent coffee houses, is also available in brew-it-yourself packages from stores including The Ballard Market and Tenzing Momo at Pike Place Market. Each package contains spices (add to boiling water and simmer) and tea & herb mix (steep in the hot, spiced water). With sweetener (honey or brown sugar) and steamed/heated milk, it’s as robust as a latte.