India Orthodox 'Masala Chai' Black Tea

Tea type
Black Chai Blend
Assam Tea, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger
Caramel, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Ginger, Malt, Molasses, Spicy, Toast, Wood
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From What-Cha

A well rounded taste with a good but non-dominant spiciness with a sweet edge and rounded off nicely with a smooth malty Assam.

Unusually a high grade orthodox Assam is used at the tea base as opposed to the usual CTC. This has the advantage of allowing the drinker to elicit a stronger or lighter taste as desired by utilising a shorter or longer steep.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth refined taste and wonderful aroma
- Full spicy taste with sweet tones underpinned by a full malty Assam

Tea Harvest: Second Flush 2016
Tea Base: Orthodox Assam Black Tea
Tea Origin: Assam, India
Sourced: Specialist Indian tea wholesaler

Black Tea (Camellia Sinensis)
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
Bay Leaves (Cinnamomum tejpata)
Green Cardamom (Elettaria)

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 100°C/212°F
- Use 2-3 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 4-5 minutes
- Add milk and sugar to taste

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

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3 Tasting Notes

1048 tasting notes

Here is another sample sipdown that I managed to squeeze in immediately after work today. I am normally not a huge chai fan, but given my overall faith in What-Cha’s range of offerings, figured this one would at least be worth a try. Naturally, it was.

I prepared this tea Western style. For this one, I went back to my trusty old one step infusion process. I steeped approximately 1.5-2 teaspoons of loose tea and spices in approximately 8 ounces of 212 F water for 5 minutes. Obviously, I did not attempt any additional infusions for this one.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaf and spice blend emitted powerful aromas of ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and bay leaf backed by a hint of malt. After infusion, the spices evened out as typical Assam scents of wood, toast, malt, cream, and caramel emerged. In the mouth, there was an admirable balance of spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and bay leaf) and malt, cream, toast, caramel, wood, and molasses notes from the tea. The finish maintained this balance, only leaving lingering touches of cinnamon, ginger, clove, and malt on the back of the throat.

While the description above details my experience consuming this tea neat, I prepared it with an addition of milk earlier in the day. The milk really brought out the Assam base’s natural creaminess and maltiness, greatly taming the intensity of the spices. I did not add sugar or any other sweetener, however, so I have no clue how this blend would perform with any additional additives. Overall, my experience with this chai was a pleasant one. It was a little mellower than I was expecting, but that should not be read as a knock against it. Even though chai is still not quite my thing, I could definitely see those who enjoy the stuff liking this one. Just be aware that it is probably necessary to use both cream and sugar to really get the full effect from it.

Flavors: Caramel, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Ginger, Malt, Molasses, Spicy, Toast, Wood

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I liked that one because it was a little more mellow. The cardamom’s flavor was present enough for me to not need sugar personally.


I try to avoid using additives in just about every tea I consume, but for me, I think just a pinch of sugar would have brought everything together perfectly. This was a good chai though. I liked the fact that it included both cardamom and bay leaf. Why does it seem that so many chais on the Western market avoid both of those key ingredients?

Daylon R Thomas

I don’t know, it’s always too much cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg for me. I also like chai’s adding Tulsi. There is one other chai that is good which is Hugo’s Vanilla Chai-the ginger with the vanilla bean are an awesome combo, but the ingredients are sourced differently.

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1583 tasting notes

I scented a sample of this with vanilla for a few months, and it turned out nicely as expected. The vanilla did make me think of pudding for a little bit, but it mostly accented the cardamom and the malty black tea. This makes me fairly happy.


Sounds awesome!

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