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Tag: Chaiwala

Tea Popsicles Made With Chaiwala Chai

Way back in February, I brewed up a fancy chai mix by Chaiwala for Valentine’s Day. You may remember — Chaiwala makes their blends by mixing black tea with spices and with fresh ginger and honey. In case you don’t remember, it looks like this:


Because it contains fresh ingredients, it risks going bad quickly. Indeed, the package that I bought at the Toronto Tea Festival at the end of January had a best-before date of July 28th, so time was running out.

So I decided to do something a little bit different: I made popsicles with the remaining tea leaf. And I even have a recipe for you!

Chaiwala Tea Popsicles — Ingredients

  • 40-45 grams of Chaiwala chai blend
  • 1 small carton (approx 4 cups) of vanilla-flavoured soy milk
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk (try to skim off the thick coconut cream and use that)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • Popsicle molds

I took the remainder of the chai from the package and let it steep in the vanilla soy milk for 5-10 minutes — enough for the soy milk to reach a boil and for the tea to become a rich tan colour.


Then I took it off the heat, set it aside to cool, and added the coconut milk and honey. Because the coconut milk had been sitting in my cupboard for a bit, I was able to skim off the top part of the cream that had separated from the rest of the liquid, which gave the mix some added richness.

I say that I added the coconut milk and honey at the same time, but I really added a bit of the honey, added the coconut milk, and then added more honey to taste — I really just eyeballed the ingredients for this whole thing.

Then I took the whole pot and strained it through a sieve into a large measuring cup to get rid of the chai pieces. After straining, I had a little over a full litre of liquid.


It’s at this point that I have to admit another mistake. I didn’t wait long enough to let the mixture cool before pouring the popsicle molds. See this set below? See how shiny and clean it is? That’s because I, in the interest of being efficient, washed everything before I even added the tea to the soy milk.


But this was a bad idea. I should have waited until after I brewed the tea to clean these things out. It would have given the tea a bit more time to cool before being poured into the molds.

Anyways. I took the liquid and poured it into the clean popsicle moulds. Because the skimmed coconut cream was so thick, little clots of cream were still visible, not fully incorporated into the rest of the liquid. You can see the flecks of cream in the liquid below.


There was still quite a bit of liquid left over after pouring some into the molds. I had only 6 molds, but there were still 2.5 cups of liquid left, so this recipe could easily make a dozen pops. So after chucking the whole thing into the freezer, I drank off the remaining liquid while it was still warm and toasty. (Pretty delicious, by the way!)

The popsicles stayed in the freezer overnight.

The result? An icy pop with a hint of sweetness and a rich, spicy flavour of cloves, fennel, cardamom, and more. I was pleasantly surprised by how this turned out, since this was my first time making popsicles.


On a side note, I was also surprised by how disturbingly phallic this popsicle looked. Erm….

However, the texture of the popsicles was jagged and icy inside, rather than smooth, toothsome or creamy. I don’t know if this was a result of there needing to be more fat in the blend (moar coconut cream!!), or a result of not letting it cool to room temperature before putting it in the freezer. If I were to make tea popsicles like this again in the future, I’d be more careful about how I put them into the freezer.

Valentine’s Day with Chaiwala Chai

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Mr. BooksandTea and I barely left the house that day because it was freezing outside, but if there’s one thing that tea is good for, that thing is providing comfort on cold days. So how did we celebrate Valentine’s Day? By having homemade blueberry pancakes for breakfast. And if there was one tea I wanted to try alongside these pancakes, it was the chai mix I bought from Chaiwala a few weeks ago at the Toronto Tea Festival. (Bonus! It turns out these guys live in Scarborough, just like I do! This makes me incredibly happy.)

This is the stuff:


See how it says “fresh ginger”  and “honey” on the label? That’s one of the neat things about this blend. It really does have fresh ginger and honey mixed in with the black tea, resulting in a kind of thick, crumbly mix. I think the honey is here both to add sweetness and to prevent the tea and spices from spoiling when in contact with the moistness of the fresh ginger.

And oh my god, there are a LOT of spices in this mix. In addition to the black tea and honey, there’s ginger, orange peel, cardamom, fennel, nutmeg, bay leaf, and a whole lot more. You can see how much spice is in this mix when you actually measure it out for brewing. It looks a bit like vegetable slaw, I think:


Chaiwalah’s chai smelled bracingly strong, spicy and pungent: so strong, in fact, that I had trouble picking out individual flavours. However, I’m pretty sure that I was able to sense cloves, fennel, bay leaf, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I will say it again: yowza, this tea smelled strong.

The instructions on the Chaiwala package said to mix 8 ounces of milk (preferably soy milk) with 8 grams of chai and then heat the milk on the stove on medium until it just reaches a boil. For all that effort, I decided to measure out about 16 grams of leaf for 16 ounces of milk and then make myself an extra big cup. I don’t buy soy milk, so I used plain old 1% cow’s milk instead.

And into the pot it went! Here’s what it looked like before I put the heat on:


I let the milk sit for a bit before heating it up because I was preparing the pancakes. (I used this blueberry pancake recipe, by the way. It was tasty, but the batter was much thicker than I expected.)

Once I made some headway on the pancakes, I turned the stove on, put it on medium heat, and let the tea sit until it reached a boil. This took about 10 minutes. And voila, here’s the boiling tea:


I strained it into a mug, finished cooking the pancakes, got some kiwi to go with the pancakes, and had a deliciously regal breakfast with my husband. Since he doesn’t like tea, I had this concoction all to myself. Look at this and tell me you’re not jealous:


This tea was super strong. However, I couldn’t taste much in the way of black tea at all: the strongest flavours were of ginger, fennel, cloves, and bay leaf. (For some reason, the bay leaf was particularly prominent in my cup.) Part of me wonders if this is because I used cow milk instead of soy, or because I let the tea sit in the milk for several minutes before putting it on the boil. There’s plenty of room to experiment, however: I’ve used only about 1/4 of the package from Chaiwala, and because of the way it’s mixed (tea, honey, and fresh spices), I need to use it up quickly before it goes bad.

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