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The best Masala Tea in India

Have you had the best Masala Tea in India? Or from India? Let’s decode this.

Why are most of the mass consumer brands failing to render a good cup that makes you feel relaxed and energized at the same time? The answer is extremely simple – they don’t have Masala!

Recently I picked up a pack of Cardamom Chai by an extremely famous brand. It had the regular CTC (small granular leaves) and some green flakes. I assumed it was cardamom so to taste the quality of the cardamom, I picked a green flake and started chewing. I was shocked to discover that it was not cardamom. It was a greenish tea leaf (known as brokens in the tea industry). I have to say that its extremely disappointing to see the common man work so hard and pay a little extra for a pack a cardamom tea that is such a sham!

Whenever you are purchasing a Masala Tea, make sure you buy a small pack first, check out the leaves for yourself. It should look somewhat like this image below. This tea has green cardamom, rose, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and secret proportion that balances the tea in such a way that all the ingredients are equally prominent.

The feedback for this type of tea will always be excellent. Not only in terms of taste, it will actually make you feel good right after you have the tea as well as in the long run due to the real herbs and spices. We at Mittal Teas get high quality herbs from Himachal and spices from Kerala. The CTC is from Assam. We are not just trying to endorse our brand here, rather, we would encourage every chai lover to avoid the fake Masala Tea and go for any authentic one instead. Needless to point out, a good quality tea can make or break your day. Are you choosing quality over quantity for the things that matter?

 

Water is the Soul of Tea

Being a tea businesses person, and especially because of personally being there at our tea house in Sunder Nagar or Barakhamba Road, we get first hand feedback from tea lovers from different cultures, countries and most importantly with a subjective palette. We strive day and night to hand pick tea batches that are nothing but the best, but when you get a not so good feedback, it is definitely not a “Friday feeling”.

To our surprise, 8 out of 10 of those feedbacks came from people who were using water UNFIT for tea! Yes, I agree, in this day and age, we assume that the water in our home and workplace is just fine. But you are about to discover something new just now.

Here are the different types of water and how they impact our teas:

  1. Tap Water: The hardness depends on the ground water and thus varies from region to region. This water is rich in the ENEMY of tea, namely Chlorine. This chlorine is bound to alter the authentic aroma of the tea.
  2. Filtered Water: This is definitely better than Tap Water. Although it is not nearly perfect. Filtered water will again take the help of charcoal to trap the chlorine and calcium. Although the aroma will not be too affected, the taste in this case, might vary. Consider heating this water (do not boil) and letting it cool. If it still tastes like some minerals, you need to abandon this water brewing tea.
  3. Mineral or Bottled Water: Here there 2 types – one that is rich in minerals and one that is not. Choose the latter. Reason being simple – the minerals will again meddle with the tea constituents in terms of the flavor or aroma.

Common myths:

a. Boiling the water will solve all miseries: As the water starts to boil, turn off the kettle. As much as you boil it, the more oxygen will be lost. Oxygen is very important for any type of tasting as it enables the aroma compounds to reach our nasal passage.

b. Adding more lead = more taste: the amount of tanning must be in balance, failing which, the might become bitter or astringent. The standard 2g per cup i.e 150mL.

c. Longer brew time = bitter disappointment: Most people are clueless about how long to brew a certain type of tea. But most people also have a tendency to extract the most out of the tea leaves by leaving them in water longer. This is almost like overcooking your meal.

Hope this article was helpful in understanding the impact and importance of water used for teas. As it is commonly said, “God is in the detail” as well as “Devil is in the detail”, meaning – a very small detail like this, can either make your tea terrible or make it heavenly.

#LetsMakeTeaTimeGreatAgain

This place is a giver!

It’s the year 2018 and everyone is hustling to make it big. In big cities and tourist cities, tourists would often get fleeced and sometimes, even locals! In times like this, this place stands out as it is offering a Professional Tea Tasting experience for free, no strings attached since over 2 decades!

Do you like tea? Did you know that India is 2nd largest producer of teas? Would you like to take tea as a souvenir for your friends back home? If you said YES to any of the above, then Mittal Teas is the place to go. A quaint little shop in Sunder Nagar Market, almost as small as Harry Potter’s room under the staircase, this place is big on tea! The best part – you can try as many teas as you like and get to learn all about them for absolutely free! Mittal Teas is more than half a century old and their teas have been to Hollywood parties, Mr.Obama’s delegation, most of the luxury hotels in India and even some of the royal families. The staff is super friendly and the store is always full of expats from all over the world.

They have 2 more branches: Barakhamba Road and Global Foyer Mall. If you are a group of more than 5, the it’s better to opt one these 2 branches which are relatively much more spacious.

From premium Darjeeling teas to exotic floral tea blends, they have it all. Some other products worth mentioning: Assam Black Gold, Jasmine Green Tea, Apple Cinnamon Green Tea, Darjeeling Royal Muscatel, Mango Tea and Hand Rolled Green Tea.

 

Tea and Indian Cinema

A Book-cum-Journal on some of the most heart warming fables of classic Indian movies and how tea played a vita role in them.

 

‘Tea Talkies’ is a tribute to the creators of Hindi cinema and their art which encompasses myriad aspects of literature, music and culture –an art akin to devotion.

It evokes vignettes from impactful Hindi films which engage, enthuse and enlighten. Cinema about the warmth of relationships, of mutual understanding, of caring conversations, of hope, courage and faith.

And tea as a leitmotif.

Perhaps, we can pause as we hold the cup and view beyond infinity. Perhaps we can reflect on the goodness within and the beauty without. Perhaps we can glimpse grace and courtesy in an interlude.

Cinema and chai – both aspire for eternity in a single moment.

 

 

 

Foreword by Imtiaz Ali

The two great loves of India are brought together to magical effect in Tea Talkies. This beautifully designed book warms your heart – it shows you that just as our lives are incomplete without either tea or cinema , the two are inseparable as well.
-Imtiaz Ali