Friday, October 2, 2009

Apples and Chai

The sun is shining in the picture but it isn't shining here. In fact, I think it
may be nastier than yesterday. We went to the farmers market and they had Northern Spy apples! These are my all time favorites. Very crisp, tart, a little spicy. Apple pie here we come, maybe an apple dumpling. Not found in grocery stores. This find makes up for the Ginger Gold crop which is my favorite summer apple. This year they were not gingery nor were they crisp and juicy.

It was so raw today that I thought a nice chai would be very warming. Part of my birthday gift was some Special Teas Masala Chai no. 920. There wasn't a lot of what I identify as chai smell when I opened the package, It almost smelled more lemony in the Russian style and like those fennel seed mixes you find at the exits to Indian restaurants. Some of the lemony was from the cardamom, as that does have a subtle sweet lemon scent. I really could not identify any smell of ginger or cinnamon, nothing stood out. The tea itself was very small, very black leaves, probably an Assam.
As it brewed it didn't give off much scent. It brewed up into a very dark brown. The directions said to add lots of sugar and milk, which I did, but it wasn't until I had added 31/2 teaspoons of sugar that the taste of the spice cam through and then it was still muddled. My very personal opinion is they used cheap spices, not enough of them and in the wrong proportions. Even my sweet tea loving husband thought it was too much sweet for what it was. I wound up adding candied ginger, cinnamon and some cardamom pods to make it better.
I think the powdered Masala Chai I tried a while ago was a lot tastier and I didn't need so much sugar.

The photo is of a German coat of arms from 1741.

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