Well…this is awkward. Of course when we’re asked this question the answer’s pretty simple for us – we love our Aura Chai blend! But in the interests of impartiality we thought we’d better offer up a little more detailed response – and as we were seasoned chai lovers long before we created our Aura Chai blend we feel we know what makes a good cup of chai. If you’re looking to make an informed decision when buying loose leaf chai tea there are a few key tips to bear in mind.
The ‘best type’ of chai tea depends on your preference
The ‘best’ of anything is often subjective. If you hold the unshakeable belief that Oreos are the ‘best’ biscuit, you’re not going to get far with someone who loves chocolate digestives. This makes it difficult to definitively answer the question ‘which chai tea is the best?’ – but we’ll have a go! Success when choosing chai comes down to knowing your personal preference intimately. Do you like a bold, spicy chai – or a sweeter, lighter taste? Are you a fan of ginger – but hate chai blends with too much cinnamon? Would you prefer an authentic loose leaf chai, or is convenience more important to you? Milks also have a role to play in the overall chai experience – so if you’re making up chai at home consider when milk you’ll be accompanying it with.
Whole, pure chai spices are best for fuller flavour
If you’re after a rich, healthy, spicy full-bodied chai, then loose leaf is always the best way to go. Authentic blends feature a strong balance of little leaf black tea with over six delicious whole spices. Some blends are lighter on the palette and consist of flavoured black tea, or tea with cloves and cinnamon mixed in. Get to grips with ingredients lists to understand how the blend might taste, and whether that suits your personal preferences. It’s always best to avoid teas with additives and artificial flavours and go with pure natural spices instead.
Not all spices are created equal
Put simply, quality spices just taste better. The flavour of a spice depends on its freshness, where it’s originated from and its format. That’s not to say ground spices are inferior – lots of ground spices are freshly powdered from the whole roots and seeds and pack a powerful, flavourful punch. We use 80% whole spice, 20% freshly ground spice in our recipe.
Better blends feature a wide range of delicious spices
Chai aficionados usually prefer a more traditional, puritan blend that is filled with flavour, mellow with a hint of sweetness. When I first had the idea to create Aura Chai it was because I was struggling to find a blend that featured the whole suite of authentic spices. I’d find a promising product only to find cinnamon or ginger missing – then another without cloves or cardamom. Superior quality chai blends are comprehensive and include a host of beautiful, fragrant spices in their purest, most natural form.
Versatility and ease of use
Versatility is important, as is ease of use. I prefer my chai without sugar – but it’s good to know that I can add a little sweetness if I change my mind. Loose leaf chai tea can be mixed up with honey or mixed with a little coconut sugar post-brew. If you’re an ‘on the go’ guy or girl then powdered or syrup variations might be better for you, but loose leaf can be easy too – especially if you have a handy infuser bottle or teapot at home.