I know almost nothing about Indian tea, except that it’s called chai. My ignorance is profound, so I asked on Quora a little bit, and also read several posts, about Indian tea.
The gist is this: the common style of tea is to start with a black tea, like Assam region or Darjeeling region teas, prepared in the Indian manner, and add spices to it. The typical spices are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. (Spiced teas are of Arabic origins.) To this, milk is added.
Milk, particularly whole milk, will mellow out the bitterness and give the tea some creamy body.
Since I wasn’t qualified to make the blend of teas and spices, I opted for teabags. The package of Twinings Chai was available, and lacking any information to determine if it, or Bigelow, was better, I picked at random.
The instructions say to use boiling water and steep for five minutes. So I did that.
Instead of milk, which is not compliant with the Low-Carb-High-Fat diet, I added a swig of heavy cream. Heavy cream is very low in lactose, so lactose-intolerant people can eat it.
It tastes pretty good, with or without a little artificial sweetener.
Milk teas and spiced teas are not my preference, but they don’t taste bad at all.
In the future, if I am near one of the South Asian communities in the area (Culver City, parts of the San Fernando Valley, Artesia, Vermont and Virgil are the ones I know) I will seek out Indian or other South Asian tea brands in bags or tins, and report back on this blog.