Indian chai (superfood) – things that can go wrong

A perfect (read STRONG) cup of chai can be a superfood if done right – and can kickstart your day like nothing else. Along with energy and a sense of well being, it provides mental clarity.

The good news is that it is EASY to get the hang of this art (yes – making chai is an ART form). The bad news is that most people get it wrong – because they either rush through some of the steps (everyone is an a rush to get their kick) – or do not have the correct equipment.

Most common mistakes/oversights

A popular and flavorful brand of Indian Chai Leaves

Here is a list of things that I used to often get wrong – and that make a difference in the final outcome.

  1. The cooking pot should provide even heating – and be the perfect boiling pot. The tea leaves should ONLY be added to boiling water – seriously boiling (not just starting to boil).
  2. The ginger should be fresh – and should be added to the boiling water FIRST – before even the tea leaves. It should be grated or chopped finely to release the juices.
  3. The chai leaves (powder) needs to be high quality. I use Red Label Orange Pekoe Leaves (available at any Indian grocery).
  4. The QUANTITY of chai powder needs to be MUCH more than what you would expect. Ideally, even if you are making ONE cup of chai, always add water for 2 cups and also the chai patti (powder) for 2 cups.
  5. The milk should be whole milk – and pre-heated before being added to the chai pot (which has been boiling with the leaves and ginger for at least 2-3 minutes).
  6. At the end of the process, COVER the chai pot – so that the fumes seep into the tea. These are the most flavorful part of the concoction – and it is a waste to let them escape.

Some Common Add-ins

Ginger (fresh) and Cardamom (fresh or powder) are the two most commonly added spices to Indian chai. Some people add both – some add just one or the other. Ginger is great for stimulating digestion as is ground Cardamom.   A less common add-in – but one that works extremely well on sore throats is cloves. Just a single stem of clove needs to be added to the concoction.

The MACA add-in (for energy)

Although not part of Indian chai, maca root powder (from South America) is a super-food in itself. If you can tolerate it (it gives some people headaches – and can cause other side effects….Use the Gelatinized version of maca powder to reduce side-effects), it adds an additional ENERGY boost unlike any other. Again, this is purely optional – and only recommended if you have tried maca root before and can tolerate it without any side effects.

A complete list of the Ingredients

Coming soon

The Process

Coming soon

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