Saturday 21st June 2014, was a very pleasurable day for me. I had the pleasure of returning to The Tea Centre, Sydney, to present “Chai with David”. A set of classes aimed at helping attendees understand the fashionable drink, chai. The sessions went well, and everyone who attended them seemed to really enjoy themselves, and were able to leave with a greater understanding of this new phenomena in the world of tea fashion.
Each session allowed everyone to watch different styles of chai being cooked in front of them, and then taste the differences. The first was The Tea Centre’s own “Chai Masala Blend” which is a black tea base, with cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and rose petals. This was cooked traditionally in a pan with water, milk and we sweetened it with honey. In an instance, everyone was transported to the backstreets of Kolkata, with the tastes and smells of this traditional blend made popular by the chai wallers.
Then, the attendees were encouraged to create their own chai blend, by selecting from a large range of individual spices. I then cooked, their chosen spices with a full flavoured Assam Banaspaty GBOP, a small leaf tea to give colour and flavour. The most sucessful on the day was one which included sliced fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, cardamon pods and a little star anise, just to give a slight difference in taste. Everyone agreed that using your own fresh or dried ingredients also makes a difference to the taste.
I offered information on the drink we know as chai, what it is, where it comes from, a little of it’s history, and of course, a pinch of mythology thrown in for good measure. All of which was printed on an information sheet for everyone to take away with them. The homemade Coconut Macaroon’s, were also made short work of, once attendees got a taste of them.
Each session was finished off with a little twist, on the original concept of masala chai. Everyone got to taste my take on a lovely summer drink, “Iced Coconut Chai Latte”. This was a hit with everyone and having the recipe on their info sheets, I’m sure there will be some experimenting at home with this one.
Finally I would like to offer my sincere thanks to The Tea Centre, for their support and the team at Tea Centre, Sydney shop for hosting the event. Also thank you to the Zero Japan Team for allowing me to use their fabulous teapots at this, and all my presentations, and their continued support. Without companies like these I would not be able to do these presentations, which allow me to bring the joy of tea to many more people around Australia.