Holiday Peppermint Pink Chai
The Chai Bar's famous Pink Chai takes on a holiday twist for the season; sweet and savory, this comforting tea with peppermint is the perfect winter weather warm-up. It smells tea'vine, sure to give your home a sprinkle of holiday hurrah.
So before we dive into this cup of chai, we just wanted to clarify a few things. Initially, we wanted to have consistency in branding our black tea and green tea blends. However, we noticed a lot of confusion between Astrakadir - Rose Cardamom Black Tea and Astrakadir - Kashmiri Pink Chai Green Tea.
So we have recently re-branded our Kashmiri Pink Chai - It used to be called Astrakadir Green Tea, but it is now called Gulabi Chai. It is the same chai, with the same flavor, just a new name.
For those of you who are new to The Chai Bar Blog, Gulabi, which translates to Pink, is our famous creamy, savory chai. This blend is made using pretty pink rose petals layered with green tea and spices. A smooth and elegant brew, with a floral bouquet of rosy notes, a hint of nuttiness, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of star anise, it is the perfect blend of cardamom and rose. This chai is also known as noon chai. Making the chai using a special technique called pulling oxidizes the green tea leaves giving it an attractive 'pink' color.
Taste: Head Notes: Floral, mildly spicy;
Body Notes: Nutty and earthy;
Tail Notes: Light hints of spice.
A fan favorite, this blend is sweet, salty, creamy, and nutty. It compares to Spanish hot chocolate or white hot chocolate but is still very different in terms of flavor.THE SMELL
On opening the box, you can instantly smell the blissful scent of cardamom. The first sip will transport your tastebuds to a snowy mountaintop with grassy green slopes full of Gulmohar flowers.
If we haven't tempted you enough, the pretty pink color of this chai garnished with rose petals and pistachios makes for a beautiful Instagram photo!
Aroma: Sweet & SpicyTHE COLOR
Color: Vibrant to light dusty Pink.
*The Chai Bar Kashmiri Pink Chai does not have any added pigment or food color.
As the name suggests, this chai originated in Kashmir, the northernmost part of India, where the temperature in winters dips down to -30°C / -22°F. So, this hot, creamy, and spicy drink is perfect for the cooler months. A steaming cup of this tea is sure to warm you up from within.
For a comprehensive guide on how to brew Kashmiri Pink Chai, including the detailed recipe with photos and videos, read our Pinktober Blog Post
Since Pink Chai was designed for the winter, what better way to make festivi'tea than to combine it with one of the most popular flavors of the holiday season- aka peppermint.
Ever wonder why peppermint is associated with the holidays?
According to a German legend, a choirmaster at a cathedral made all-white candy canes by bending sugar sticks to resemble a shepherd's hook and gave them all the children attending the ceremony.
Thus it became a popular tradition, and eventually, the practice spread across Europe and America.
According to an article written in the Considerable,
"Initially, the candy canes were made by hand, and production was labor-intensive.
In the 1950s, a machine was designed especially for the automation of candy cane production... The peppermint craze began with candy canes and spread from there, making its way in other candies, chocolate, desserts, and even cocktails."
Or, in this case, PINK CHAI. So there we have it, a history of peppermint candy canes and the holidays.
The sweet and savory nutty creaminess of the pink chai boosted by the minty freshness of peppermint and a tiny candy cane stirrer in a cup of rosy pink chai is sure to impress your guests (even over video call).This week, we have a chai bar no moo brew - a plant-based peppermint pink chai recipe specially designed for our vegan friends.
EASY DIY PEPPERMINT SYRUP:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium; stir 4 to 5 minutes. Add peppermint extract and remove from heat. Cool syrup for 5 minutes; pour into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
PEPPERMINT PINK CHAI:
A few Tea'ps:
- For best results, ensure the tea blend is fresh. So if you have a blend that's been sitting in your pantry for over a year, chances are, it's not going to develop the same color, and the flavor profile of the spices would have diminished.
- Usually, we have sugar alternatives for our chai recipe. Still, this particular recipe calls for sugar. We would not recommend replacing it with any alternative like agave/jaggery/maple syrup, etc., tealeaf us, we've tried it all, so if you have dietary restrictions, reduce the quantity of sugar or skip the sugar entirely and drink this as an almost savory chai. (Please note, if you are cutting out the sugar, reduce the salt to taste.)
4 + 2 cups water
1 cup ice
5 to 6 tbsp Gulabi blend
5 cups full fat coconut milk
2 cups full fat coconut cream
10 – 13 tbsp sugar (adjust according to your taste)
0.5 – 1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp rose water
4-5 tbsp peppermint syrup
1.5 tsp salt
2 metal cups for chai pulling
1 big pot (use at least a 6-quart pot for this)
1 medium-size pot
Heat resistant gloves
1. Add 4 cups of water and Gulabi tea blend to a big pot on high flame. Boil it for 8-10 mins.
2. add baking soda and stir well. Keep boiling and stirring for another 2 mins.
3. Add ice and 2 cups of cold water. Keep stirring. You should see a dark maroon color by now. Boil for 5 minutes more.
4. Strain it in another pot and, using two metal cups, do the chai pulling.
5. In another medium-size pot, add milk, heavy cream, and sugar. Bring it to a simmer.
6. Add pulled chai to simmering milk. Bring it to a boil.
7. Turn off the stove, add salt, peppermint syrup, and rose water.
8. Pour in cups and garnish with rose/almonds, pistachios, and a candy cane.
NOTE: For more tips with pictures and video, please see our blog post on how to make Kashmiri Pink Chai.
Roasted sliced pistachios
Roasted sliced almonds
CandycaneTEA'P: If you have a nut allergy, you could make a rose sugar garnish by melting down some sugar and dipping rose petals in it.
TEA'P: You can pre-make the tea base using the traditional method and store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Before serving, add milk, salt, and sugar, then boil it for about 10 mins. And your lovely 'Kashmiri Pink Chai' is ready.
So try our peppermin'tea, a mix of eastern winter traditions and western holiday traditions.
Don't forget to click some photos; it is totally instaworthy.
If you love experimenting with pink chai, try
The Chai Bar - Pink Cha'ice-cream
That's all for now! See you next week.
Co-authored by Sargam Merchant and Madura Chaudhari