drank Original Chai by Hari Har Chai
14 tasting notes

My wife bought a 100g box for $1 at an in-store supermarket promotion, and I couldn’t wait to open the box when she got home, just to enjoy the aroma. I drink all my tea black, with no sugar, as milky tea often leaves me feeling a little… well… “blah”. Traditional chai is obviously quite milky, but the aroma out of the box was heady and reminded of when I first tried chai back in my university days, I just had to try it again.

Hari Har Chai outline two brewing methods on their box, the “traditional method” and a “quick” method. Following the traditional method, I added cold water to the tea, brought it to the boil, reduced the heat and added an equal amount of milk, and slowly re-heated. I often find that I have to add sugar to milky tea (unlike black tea), and the addition of licorice root in the blend as a natural sweetener didn’t do enough for me. After the addition of a teaspoon of sugar, the result was quite enjoyable.

I brewed up some more today, and thought I’d strengthen the flavour by gently boiling the chai for a couple of extra minutes before adding the milk. Oddly enough, the result seemed less aromatic and less flavoursome than my previous brews (where I reduced the heat as soon as it came to a boil).


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I inherited the tea-drinking gene from my mother and my grandparents. My sister inherited the coffee-drinking gene from my father – unfortunately I couldn’t save her!

In my teens, I thought that Twinings loose tea was the pinnacle of quality tea. It wasn’t until my wife stumbled across the Lupicia store in Melbourne and brought home some Lapsang Souchong (the Twinings loose tea variety seems hard to come by around here nowadays) that I realised there’s a whole world of quality tea out there.

I drink tea every day, although I’ve been trying to limit my intake of black tea – I recently realised that I was downing eight-to-ten cups of strong black tea a day! I love the rituals in tea-making as much as the tea itself, and I always look forward to sharing new teas with friends over a chat at the dining table.

My father was given a gift of some oolong tea in Hong Kong, which he hands out very sparingly, and I’ve just started to explore oolong teas myself.

Generally, however, my taste in tea leans towards black teas that are big and bold, such as Lapsang Souchong. I do also enjoy green tea, but I fear that Lapsang has ruined my tastebuds forever! Ah, Lapsang, you are a fickle friend…

I live in regional Victoria, Australia, with the missus and three little ‘uns. Coming from an Italian background, my wife prefers coffee to tea, but will occasionally try a new tea with me. My tea rituals seem to have captured the imagination of my two oldest children, and the highlight of 2011 (apart from the birth of our third child) was when my six-year-old was asked what he’d like to drink with his evening meal, and he replied “I’ll have Russian Caravan please!”


Victoria, Australia

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