Pantenger Masala Chai is an exotic, pungent and aromatic Indian tea blend. Masala Chai translates as ‘spiced tea’ in Hindi. It can be drunk plain or the traditional way, with milk and sugar.
About Masala Chai
By 1820, Chinese tea was popular and loved in England. The British were desperate to produce tea in the colonies to stop the trade deficit with China.
British botanists discovered a new tea variety (Camelia Sinensis Assamica) in Assam and tea seeds were smuggled from China and planted in Darjeeling.
Within 50 years, the British had developed new techniques to process large quantities of tea and reduce production costs. Most of the tea produced was of low quality and soon there was an excess of production. British tea merchants needed new buyers: the local Indian market. The drinking of tea was imposed by forcing tea breaks in factories and was available from vendors in trains and on stalls everywhere. By 1900, Indians consumed two thirds of the tea produced by the British.
Herbs and spice decoctions have been used in the Indian subcontinent for 3,000 years. Herbal brews are part of the Ayurvedic tradition. Indian food is aromatic, fragrant and spicy.
Inevitably, spices and herbs were added to the tea. To make it their own and as an act of rebellion, The Indian Tea Association, owned by the British, prohibited the blend at first. They thought that blending the tea with spices would reduce the quantities of tea sold.
The Raj ended in 1947 and Indians took over the tea companies. Nowadays, Masala Chai is a national symbol. There is no original recipe. Each Masala Chai is made with the spices that are available in each home.
How To Serve:
A great cup of tea requires three elements: great tea, water and a tea master (you).
Make it plain:
The right amount of tea is 1 teaspoon (2 to 3 grams) / 6 Fl. Oz. of water (200°F – 212°F). Brew for 3 to 5 minutes. Pantenger Chai can be served plain or with milk and sugar.
Make it the traditional way:
Boil a cup of water and 2 teaspoons of Pantenger Chai in a saucepan for 3 minutesAdd a cup of milk and stir and simmer for 4 minutes.
Strain into a mug.
For Iced Chai allow to cool and serve in a glass full of ice.
Ingredients: Assam CTC (Cut, Tear and Curl), a robust rolled black Indian tea, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods and black pepper.
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