Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tipping a cup of Tipu's Chai

It's chai season, and I love the stuff. Love authentic chai with Indian food, but love taking some on a stroll with me, too. But good stuff, real stuff, not the overly sweet Starbucks-ruined crap. There's a fantastic Middle Eastern shop in a nearby neighborhood that sells its own blend, to die for.

After reading reviews of it on several blogs, I sought out some Tipu's Chai — an instant chai mix, and a legacy of a defunct Indian restaurant in, of all places, Montana.. I've never understood America's need for instant things, especially beverages, and each experience I've had with a powdered mix has fallen somewhere between so-so and dreadful. Tipu's delivers a fairly typical powdered drink experience, though the flavor is pretty great — good spicy balance, salty even (in a good way).

Heat some milk (I used soy), add the mix, stir. I get how easy that is, I just rarely find myself in a situation that calls for — quick! make some chai! and fast! The company touts the product's "microgrind," which makes it dissolve readily, though I still had some inevitable sludge at the bottom of the cup. The nice thing is, Tipu's mix comes unsweetened, which I learned the hard way. But once I sweetened it to my taste, it was a satisfying cup. I'll be sticking, however, to my local blend.

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