20130325

Chai. Tea.

I was about 15-16 years old when I started drinking tea.. once a day.. usually in the evenings.. and though I have switched to coffee..mainly because whatever I do it just doesn't taste the same, plus it reminds me too much of home, friends and family. So now we drink it only when in the company of freinds or family. Tea back home is called chai and it has nothing to do with chai tea (which actually doesn't make sense because chai and tea mean the same thing.. so you're just drinking tea tea.. or chai chai). Unlike tea, chai is made with a strong black tea that is cured in a special way creating tea granules instead of leaves. It is inexpensive. The method of preparation (this I did not know) is also different. In a kettle you take water, tea and sugar and simmer to a boil until a rich aroma engulfs the room and the water becomes dark. Then milk is added and the mixture is once again brought to a boil. It is then strained into cups. (methods may slightly vary)



This Christmas a colleague gifted M Chinese teas.  And a few weeks ago I decided to make some tea..


I knew that the preparation of Chinese tea differed from Chai.. so I Googled it. There was mention of steeping (which I also had to Google) Times varied for different types of teas, the one I was experimenting with was Dahongpao.


So I placed some leaves in my cups, boiled water, poured water, covered with a plate and let steep. 




I scooped out the leaves and this is what remained.. weak, warm water. I tried a second time and steeped longer but it didn't make too much of a difference. Plus what was supposed to be a relaxing thing.. turned into so much work.


So to all the tea drinkers out there... what did I do wrong? How do I fix it? What is it supposed to taste like?  I have two tins full of tea and I don't know what to do with them. Suggestions?

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24 comments:

  1. Perhaps you can try adding more leaves for a stronger flavor? You can keep brewing longer for a stronger flavor, but at some point it can get bitter doing this. Some teas just aren't as strong tasting as others are though, so it may be the variety you have. Good luck!

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    1. thanks. I'll maybe give a try again.. sometime.. but coffee tastes just so much better.

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  2. I LOVE chai tea! Hope that you find the perfect one!

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    1. oddly enough I've never tasted chai tea.

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  3. I know nothing of tea or chai except that I love Soy Chai Lattes from Tully's, which I'm pretty sure are otally unrelated! :) Good luck!

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    1. Thanks.. I don't think we have a Tully's in these parts.

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  4. you take your tea seriously -- impressive! i'm still stuck on sleepy time every night, good for my soul:)

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    1. I actually don't.. and I wouldn't have ever bought them.. they were a present and I thought I should at least try to use them. I prefer my coffee or hot chocolate at night.

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  5. I have no idea how to fix it! But I live tea. Traditional English tea and Chai Tea, which now I feel stupid saying since I just learnt from you that it is basically just tea tea! haha.

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. lol.. we learn something new everyday..

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  6. First, I suggest getting a tea leaves steeper so that you don't have the loose leaves in the tea. We drink a lot of English Breakfast tea and fill the steeper that we have completely up. Then we let it steep in the water until the temperature of the water is actually drinkable and won't burn our tongues. I'm not familiar with Chinese tea except for the green tea you get at a Chinese restaurant and that usually is very weak and really does taste more like warm water until you sweeten it with sugar and than its just sugar water. Just Google "Tea Steeper" to see image samples. You may want to try different types of teas too if you are interested in doing so - I suggest English teas - they know their tea. On a side note, I love Chai tea lattes from Starbucks.

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    1. Interesting..I have no idea about teas.. and i was making an effort mainly because they were a present. I loved chai but now I am more of a coffee person. Didn't know that Chinese teas are supposed to be weaker.

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  7. Love Chai Tea lattes from Starbucks. As for Chinese teas, I usually find them pretty weak. If you are interested, Google Tea Steepers and then purchase one. I bring my water to a boil, pack the steeper full and steep the tea as long as it takes to get the water back down to a good drinking temp. I prefer teas from England, like English Breakfast. Those are strong, good teas.

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  8. I have no solution to offer. I mostly prefer the regular tea.

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  9. i have always loved tea too! it's so good, and good for you too :) i'm not an expert in brewing my own, but i hope you are able to successfully make a cup soon! good luck!

    xo,
    kristyn

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  10. I don't drink coffee or tea so I have no advice, but I know what chai tea smells like and I think it smells delicious!

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  11. I hate tea LOL so I'm the wrong person to ask unfortunately. I do love the idea of catching up with friends for tea and coffee. Too bad the taste doesn't agree with me

    SDMxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  12. Hmmm, I don't know if I have any more wisdom to add. I drink tea almost every afternoon--I put the leaves in a strainer, pour the water over, and let it steep for 3-4 minutes. But that's pretty strong black tea, so it may be that yours is just lighter in flavor. I think green teas tend to be more light in flavor, and they have a shorter steeping time.

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  13. I really crave that tea right now ) Thanks for posting

    LA By Diana Live Magazine

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  14. good to know about chai - i had no idea. maybe try the loose tea in a tea strainer instead. i've never tried it before, but good luck!
    -- jackiejade.blogspot.com

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  15. Thanks for sharing this info on chai tea! It's one of my favorites!

    http://www.sincerelysammie.com/

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  16. It's amazing that something like tea can touch our emotions in such a deep way!

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