Monday, October 18, 2010

Finally, I am Warm!

Oh Boy! Am I glad to be home - I haven't been warm since we left on Thursday am. Our friends keep their house at 52!!!!!! and the inn where the wedding weekend took place was only warm in the halls and a few public rooms. And it was cold!, with wind and driving rain. No outdoor wedding next to the lake, in the central Adirondacks. But there were lots of Tazo teas and boiling water, so this little tea piggy was quite happy.
The whole event was great fun, with good food at every meal - especially no baked ziti, hooray! A local church opened their doors, turned on the heat and we were all set. There was a piper for all the music - so grand, and lots of handsome Scots in their dress tartans and ladies in clan sashes, rosettes, skirts and tartans. Best of all was the amazing look of love and tenderness for his bride on our Will's face for the entire ceremony.
When I got home the kettle went on and I got out a sample of instant chai. As most of you know, this tea drink originated in India and I have to say it is about the only instant tea I've had that is any good and some is quite wonderful. This particular sample is from the kind folks at Tipu, who asked me to review it. Right from the opening of the packet, it was good - it smelled wonderful, rich and spicy and I swear I could smell the tea, too.
I brewed it up with 8 oz of hot milk and a rounded teaspoon of the mix. It didn't taste quite right to me so I added some half and half and some sugar and aah, perfection. It is quite spicy, just the way I like it, but if you like it milder, use less. I think it may have had some nutmeg in it, but I could certainly taste the cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and just a whisper of clove. I was quite happy about the last, as too much clove ruins things for me - like most Christmas blends. I added the half and half as most Indians I know always recommend whole milk and mine was
1 %. Everyone will be different.
I compared this with my usual chai, which originated in the Hyderabad area of India, whereas Tipu's comes from Gujarat. They are roughly on a SE -NW diagonal from each other geographically. The H chai is a bit smoother and softer, whereas the sample is a bit heartier and you can separate out the spices a little better. I give them both high marks, but I have to say that the ease of preparing Tipu's is a big plus.

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