Chai Preparation Methods
We here at ommate’ constantly experiment with the best ways to brew and steep our chai.
Life can be busy so we also look for methods that work efficiently with tools you may already own.
The chai with which we are working suggest brewing temperatures of between 176 and 212 degrees F.
A drip coffee maker, which should be designed to heat to between 197.6 and 204.8 degrees F., can therefore be put to service for making the various chai which is better suited to lower brewing temperatures. This allows for a prolonged steep while it sits on the warmer which experience has taught us is effective for our chai blends with the added benefit of keeping the tea warm.
Electric Drip Coffee Maker
The method we use most commonly.
For Sencha (176), Rooiverde (203) and Blancha’(175) Machaite’(203) brewing temperature is quite good, and the heating element keeps the tea warm.
We boil water for other types of chai that require higher initial brewing temperature. Pouring heated water over chai mix in electric drip coffee maker allows the steep to continue while keeping the chai warm.
Although infusers can certainly be used my preferred method is to put the chai mix and tea in the bottom of the pot and allow to brew as one would with coffee. Strain the tea as serving. This method seems to result in the most fully flavored chai.
If you are brewing in an electric coffee maker with the stipulated amount of chai mixture a second, and at times, even a third pot can commonly be brewed.
French Press, Chemex, AeroPress
For that chai best steeped at higher temperatures a Chemex, French Press or AeroPress can be put to service.
All these methods use water that has been boiled so useful for Assam (212), Assamate (212), Grey (212) and Rooibus (212). However water can be allowed to slightly cool and be used for the above lower temperature chais.
The way our chai is brewed it can be drunk over the course of the different stages of brewing with a variety of accompaniments which enhance and modify the different effects and pungency of flavor.
We like the addition of honey at most stages and commercially prepared coconut cream with/or almond milk when the brew has become strong.
Depending on one’s personal palate preference coconut or raw sugar are additional sweetening choices.
We commonly refer to early in a brew as “young” when it is light, refreshing and often fruity and consumed within the first half hour to forty-five minutes. As the chai matures within the next hour to two hours it will reach its full-flavored potential. We hardly ever throw any away, no matter the length of brew time and regularly refill the pot for a second brew when it gets down to around four cups.
Should your chai have become seemingly over steeped it may, at that point be addressed as though an essence and diluted with the addition of hot water.