Summertime blooms are beginning to blossom. Our Rose topiaries are glad to be taking off after a long winter. We feel like, Roses are often left out of summer flavors. Somehow they are reserved to represent Valentine's Day. Roses are, in fact, such a summer scent.
Coming from India, Madura and I associate Roses with the Indian rose or "Desi Gulab". Back home, it is the poster girl for sweet-smelling natural products, from rosewater to rose jam, which is why The Chai Bar's Rose Blends and Products are made with South Asian Rose Petals.
It is an erect shrub with tiny sharp thorns. The fragrant flowers bloom in single's or in several in short panicles; the petals are structured in a double-layered fan, ranging from red to white.
Astrakadir, our Black Tea, Rose & Cardamom Blend, is made using Pink Rose petals layered with 100% Organic Black Tea from Assam, the land of tea gardens. Select spices are then hand-blended to the mix.
We add cardamom to give the blend a traditional Indian tea taste. This nutty, minty spice adds contrast to the sweet smell of Rose. A dash of Cinnamom to pack a punch in heat and a sprinkle of Star-Anise, which beautifully complements the floral flavors in this blend.
Astrakadir has a Sweet & Spicy Aroma,
Light floral head-notes, creamy, nutty body notes, and tail-notes with medium hints of spice. The Chai color ranges from Beige to Tan.
Since we are raving about Roses, we will tell you some of our brewing secrets. Being a delicate flavor, Rose can use a little bit more.. erm rosiness. When we are feeling #extra, we add a splash of rosewater to our cup of tea.
But when we are feeling #fancy, we also add a spoonful of Rani Rose Sugar.
The Chai Bar's Rani Rose Sugar is made using 100% Organic Cane Sugar (yes, this is crystalized sugar made from the sugar cane plant) hand-blended with South Asian Rose Petals.
The reason we chose the name Rani is because Rose is the Queen of flowers. This floral sugar makes us feel much like royal'tea, and also because the Desi Rose has a distinct bright reddish pink color which a lot of Indians refer to as "Rani-Pink."
So there you have it, the story behind the name. That's the beauty of shopping from a locally owned family business. We put love, thought, and joy into creating every single product. Names and ingredients aren't decided in a board room based on stats and numbers. They are decided with friends and family excitedly gathered around a dining room table sipping Chai and chatting about our culture.
Speaking of Rani-Pink, if you are a fan of Rose flavor and love pink, you have to try our Kashmiri Pink Chai Blend. The Chai Bar's Gulabi Kashmiri Pink Chai Blend was named after the Hindi word for Pink. Gulabi literally translates to Rosey Pink. Gulab means rose, and Gulabi means Rosey. This blush-hued brew is a delicacy in Kashmir.
The Chai Bar's Kashmiri Pink Chai Blend is made using 100% Organic Green Tea Leaves from the Foothills of the Himalayas. These are hand blended with beautiful pink rose petals and the choicest spices.
This blend can be steeped in boiling water to make a clear green tea or prepared using the Kashmiri Method to brew a Pink Chai.
While brewing Pink Chai, a concentrate or Khawa is prepared. The Green Tea Leaves are oxidized, and temperature shocked, which causes them to turn pink. Oftentimes, brands add food color to their tea leaves to lend a pink hue. At The Chai Bar, we do not add any colors or flavors to our tea blends which is why this blend can prepare Green Tea as well as Pink Chai. This concentrate is then added to rich, creamy milk, brewed, and served with nuts, rose petals, and a sprinkle of salt.
The creamy, nutty Pink Chai is a winter specialty, often served at weddings and other festivities. You can use The Chai Bar's Gulabi Blend to prepare pistachio, rose chai'scream, tapioca tea pudding, rose cardamom smoothies, and more.
While we continue to ramble on about roses, we might as well discuss the Tas'tea Pairings that go with our Rose Tea Blends. If you haven't heard, tea can enhance the flavor of food and vice-versa. We always try to give our readers ideas for traditional and modern tas'tea pairings to help prepare a tea time menu.
Have you tried Astrakadir Black Tea with Rose Baklava Cheesecake? Find the recipe HERE. Being a delicate floral tea, it pairs well with sweet floral deserts like rose sugar cookies, rose vanilla loaf, pistachio tea cake, cardamom cookies, etc.
The Kashmiri Pink Chai Blend is a rich, creamy brew, and it pairs best with salty snacks like salty cardamom oat cookies, herb bread knots, and flaky paratha flatbread.
Have you tried Gulabi with Pink Sal'tea Parathas? Find the recipe HERE.
To pair Gulabi Green Tea with food, we opt for a fresh strawberry, apple, and arugula salad with salted pistachios and rose water vinegarette or caramelized pear with feta, walnuts, and honey.
As for Rani Rose Sugar, it adds a delightful touch to any dessert, from cakes to cookies. We find that it pairs exceptionally well with Khari, an Indian flaky cookie. Find the recipe HERE.
If you are looking to binge on a boozy brew, try our recipe for Rose Revelry, a Rosey tea'licious cocktail HERE.
While we love adding Rani Rose Sugar to our hot Tea, Astrakadir and Rani Rose Sugar can also be used to brew Chilled Chai. Rose is known for its cooling properties, so here is a fancy summer recipe to make Chilled Chai fit for a Queen.
- Astrakadir Black Tea Blend
- Rani Rose Sugar
- Full Fat Cow's Milk / Full Fat Oat (For a No-Moo-Brew)
- Rose Water
- Rose Petals
- Add Astrakadir to boiling water, let it simmer for 2-4 mins, then turn off the heat. Strain and cool.
- Crush fresh cardamom pods and add them to the milk. Bring to a boil, strain, and cool.
- Prepare a Rose simple syrup by boiling down rose petals with rani rose sugar and a bit of rose water. Do not strain. Cool.
- Rim a glass with Rani Rose Sugar, add ice, pour in the Astrakadir Chai Concentrate, Cardamom Milk Mixture, Mix In Rani Rose Sugar Simple Syrup, top with a splash of rose water, and garnish with rose petals.
Thanks for reading our blog, you "rose" to the occasion, and we appreciate it. #alwayspunny
Sargam & Madura.