Saturday, May 29, 2010

All that and a cup of tea

Chai, sweet, spicy, and way too often found in a hermetically sealed box.

This weekend my mother and I found a lovely tea shop near my favorite thrift store, Hidden Treasures.
Tea Source has two locations in the Saint Paul area. One on Cleavland near Ford Parkway, and one in Saint Anthony Village. Lovely shops, with more types of tea than you can imagine. I thought it smelled great, and enjoyed a cup of Pink Iced Tea with real hibiscus leaves. Karkaday for you who have been in the mid-east.

Note; These are not Hibiscus flowers, they are Azaleas, but they are pretty and they are pink, and I have no hibiscus blooming in my yard.

Mother had a nice cup of Chai, with a real cardamom and a much fuller spice flavor than one can get from a box. We found the secret: A separate spice mix, steeped in sweetened  condensed milk, to be added to the fine Assam black tea. We bought it, and what a great way to make tea! You won't burn the milk, and all the flavors are real!

Next challenge is my own spice mix. (Especially since I'm sending the Tea Source tins home with mom)
I know there will be cardamom in it, and probably ginger and cloves. What are your favorite tastes in tea?


  1. Chai is wonderful tea. The flavor is delicious.


  2. I love how everyone has an individual recipe for chai (well, all Indians). My mother-in-law's starts off with black peppercorns! Of course, in her part of India, they don't steep spices in sweetened condensed milk (although I'd like to try it!) -- they put the spices and the tea (and sugar) all into the milk, and slowly heat it all together for a long time until it's done, and then strain it into the cups (straining out the peppercorns as well!).

    I like a bit of orange in mine... my favorite black tea (I like tea and coffee either totally black or with a ton of milk and sugar south Indian style) is Fortmason, by Fortnum & Mason's, now (I hear) available for export! I'll have to order some online whenever my stock runs out (I request purchases whenever I hear of anyone going to England).