On test Masala Teas
A spicy Masala chai turns on the heat like no other we put six brands through our sip test
Words AMIT PAMNANI Photographs Tinkesh Achhipalia
Organic India Rs 85/50G
This tea doesn’t come in tea bags; It comes as a powder making it a bit inconvenient to brew, However, that’s its only negative. The Cheapest of the lot, it is 100 percent organic. It has the highest spice content (45 percent) and contains three types if tulsi in varying proportions that add sweetness to the tea. The tea turns light golden in colour upon brewing, More of a herbal beverage. It is ideal for those looking for less caffeine in their tea. It is rejuvenating and you can easily have three to four cups a day, So if you are looking for a good Masala beverage, Organic India is your answer.
Chamong Rs 150/50G
This is an organic tea brand. The tea bags are packed in plain plastic bags 25 bags to a pack, so there may be a chance that the tea might not be as flavorful once the pack is opened. It contain real spices but the pack doesn’t mention the ratios. It gets a nice copper colour when brewed and takes four to five minutes for the maximum flavor to be extracted. The spices are more pronounced and it makes for a nice strong cuppa.
Te-a-me Rs 315/50g
As mentioned on the pack, this one has real spices and a 30 percent Masala content, The pack also lists detailed ratios of the spices present in the tea. We see tiny pieces of spices in the teabag. The tea takes three to five minutes to brew, and the taste is mild. Those who prefer a stronger Masala flavor may require two tea bags to make a cup. The tea bags are packed individually to keep the flavor intact.
TYPHOO Rs 165/50g
The tea bag contains only 10 percent Masala and we can’t actually taste much spice in the tea. While the flavor is quite mild the tea in itself is strong enough to wake you up instantly. The label on the pack mentions that the tea is “UK’s Finest”, Which might explain the subtlety in the spice quotient. Having been around for over 100 years. Its one of the oldest tea brands available. The tea turns a dark caramel colour and takes about two minutes to brew. The pack doesn’t mention what spices have done to the making of this tea. It comes in individually packed pouches to keep the flavor intact.
TETLEY Rs 105/50g
This one doesn’t contain real spices and has a measly 1.1 percent Masala flavor. In spite of that. It turns out to be the spiciest of the lot with bold flavors of cinnamon, clove, ginger and other spices. This may be a strategy to woo the Indian market wherein consumers prefer strong Masala chai. The tea is packed in Individual pouches to keep the flavor intact. The tea turns a golden copper colour when brewed, which takes two minutes.
NEWBY Rs 225/50g
The packaging of this tea immediately makes you think of it as a British tea. On looking closely, we are in for a pleasant surprise, because the tea is actually manufactured in west Bengal. This is the most expensive of the six teas we test. It has real spices such as cardamom, paper, Ginger and aniseed, among others. It turns a deep shade of gold when brewed, and is rich and malty. As we taste it, We find the tea is good in terms of flavor, though the hit if Masala is mild.