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This herbal tea is sometimes referred to in our office as the blend with an identity crisis. Why? Well, what else do you call it when you have a mix that combines the mellow character of Rooibos, with the sensual spiciness of Masala chai? Is it relaxing? Is it a pick me up? Or is it both?
Confused? Let us explain. Rooibos is well known to be one of the most relaxing hot beverages one can brew. The needle shaped leaves of the Rooibos bush, (Latin: Aspalathus linearis) produce a caffeine free drink that is noted by nutritionists and health consultants the world over for its soothing character. Masala chai, with its base mixture of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, clove, and black pepper, is generally considered to be one of the more overtly spicy examples of all blends.
Interestingly the mixture of these two distinct characters gives this chai a lovely sense of balance. Think ying and yang, night and day, or Simon and Garfunkel, (although they did split up I guess!)
Brew yourself a cup, sit back and it will all start to make sense. As with all chais, the complex character of the blend can be wonderfully opened up when prepared with warm soy, or whole milk. Enjoy the complications of this herbal blend!
Brewing for Best Results
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 209°F/98°C.
Minimum Brewing Temperature: 190°F/89°C.
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Steep 3-5 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time, the stronger the tea).
Pairs well with: Milk, Sweetener
Tea(s) From: South Africa, India, Thailand
Region(s): Cederberg, Kerala, Petchabun
Luxury Ingredients: Rooibos, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Black and White Pepper, Clove, Nutmeg.
Iced Tea instructions
Per Serving: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. With and infuser, use 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 6-7 oz of fluid water. Steep 5 minutes. Add filtered hot tea to 16 oz glass filled with ice. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Per Pitcher: Makes 1 Quart. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 209°F/ 98°C. Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea in a heat resistant container. Pour 1 ¼ cup of prepared water over the tea leaves. Steep 5 minutes. With a fine mesh sieve, filter the hot tea liquor to the serving pitcher filled with ice. Add cold filtered water to top off. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Making an amazing cup of tea requires several things. High quality tea, filtered or freshly drawn cold water, correct water temperature, time of infusion, and filters/infusers. Unfiltered water or too hot of water can ruin the best of teas. Always use filtered or freshly drawn cold water. Any flavor from water treatments or heavy minerals such as lime or calcium can taint the water. Brew at the ideal temperature. Too hot of water can scorch the leaves and produce a bitter brew. If you find that the tea is still bitter following the recommended brewing temperature, try lowering the brew temperature another 5 to 10 degrees. Use infusers that allow the tea leaves to fully expand and has full contact with the water. Ditch the tea bags. Know the steeping time for your tea. Too long of steeping can make your tea bitter and undesirable. Too short of time will make a weak tea. Don’t make tea in the microwave.
We strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea. Today’s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites and bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce the potential incidence of water-borne illness. Cool the water to the ideal brewing temperature before brewing.