I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: coeliacfamily.blogspot.com.au
I'm also a muso and enjoy live music around town.
I am a lover of chai tea, and I have a very particular set of taste buds. There is nothing I find more indulgent than packing the kids off to bed, then settling down with a cup of milky chai tea in my favourite chair to watch a nice inspirational show which I've recorded so that I don't have to watch the ads. In my quest for the perfect chai tea I have slurped my way through hundreds of cups, cinnamon and cardamom scents swirling around me in an effort to find my favourite. I'm sure that there will be those out there who will disagree, however here are my top five from least favourite to best.
Lipton Chai Tea Bags
1. Lipton Chai Tea Bags
Lipton chai tea bags are readily available on the supermarket shelf. They have all of the right ingredients for a chai tea - black tea, cardamom, cinnamon - but nothing unusual to grab my interest. Cheap and easy!
Twinings Chai Tea bags
2. Twinings Chai Tea Bags The Twinings Chai Tea is not much different from Liptons - if anything it could do with a bit more brewing in the cup to intensify the Flavour or you could end up with something that tastes a bit like dishwater with a bit of cinnamon floating around in it!
3. t2 Chai Tea (loose leaf) There's always something just that little bit nicer about brewing your tea in a teapot, I guess there's a bit more aroma floating around the room that makes your tea worth the wait. The t2 tea smells pretty good, but again I'd like a bit more intensity of flavour.
Madame Flavour chai tea bags feel a bit more exotic
4. Madame Flavour This is my favourite from the supermarket shelves. Not only is it an Australian brand, but there is a distinctly Australian edge to the tea. She includes leaves from the Australian Mountain Pepper bush - which adds a little bit of extra zing to the tea! Yum! On top of that the tea comes in cute infuser pods which make your tea bag feel that little bit more indulgent.
t-licious loose leaf chai teas don't last long
t-licious Chai Teas If you're making the trip to South Bank, then you should go and taste test some of the loose leaf chai teas at t-licious. My personal favourites are the Warm Chai, with added rose petals and almonds and the Choc-Chai, which never seems to last very long in my cupboard for obvious reasons! These teas are worth the little bit of extra effort which goes into making a pot. You can see their full range and order online here.
Brew your own satisfying brew.
Finally, it's always fun to experiment at home. Most of us have a few of the basic ingredients for chai tea in our cupboards - some black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, maybe some ginger, or pepper, or even some citrus peel. I like to chuck it all in a glass jug so you can see the ingredients brewing. It's fun to experiment with different combinations and then spend time relaxing with a brew afterwards - just add milk and sugar.
Chai is the Indian term for black tea with milk and sugar. And masala chai is the tea infused with spices. Traditionally masala chai comprises of a combination of all or some of these spices - Cardamom, Cinnamon, clove, black pepper, fennel seeds and ginger - boiled together with black tea leaves in full cream milk and sugar. There is little or no water in masala chai.
For a lovely, milky, warm chai tea (that even my kids love to smell!), I use Arkadia from the supermarket. It's actually the cheapest per cup, but I love it! I've tried others, and find them too bitter. Arkadia with Vanilla is my favourite. You can even use Arkadia to make Chai Latte or Iced Chai from the same jar. It's also 100% Australian owned.