22 May 2012

For the love of Chai : reviewing Asda Chai Tea

We came back from Asda, this morning, bearing a box of their new Chai Tea Bags.  Hubby is so impressed, he was moved to write this glowing review ....

Chai, one of life's more subtle pleasures, has been a particular favourite of mine for a long time.  The combination of tea, to which I am irretrievably addicted, warming spices and milk is a metaphorical giant hand, to which the whole world can talk, while I slip into a lower gear for a few minutes.  As you can see, Chai is a drink to which I attach some importance.  It should come as no great surprise then when I say that, for me,  happening upon a really good Chai is somewhat akin to finding a tenner down the back of the sofa.  That is to say, both unlikely and remarkable.  Today however, I am writing to say that I've found a twenty!

There have, In the course of my Chai wanderings, been many highlights, some of which have come very close indeed to perfection.

A good example of this is Zuma Red Chai with Cranberry.  This Chai is Rooibos tea based and flavoured with cranberries along with the usual spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cardamom.  The flavour is different to any other Chai I've tasted, due to the nature of the ingredients, but it suffers from a problem common with all powdered / sachet Chai mixes and that problem is sugar.  As a diabetic, I have to be very careful about my sugar intake and the unfortunate truth is that while Zuma Red Chai tastes wonderful, every mugful contains over 10g of sugar.  This means that for me, Zuma Chai is a rare treat, to be enjoyed only after protracted periods of my being a very good boy (which doesn't happen often!).   If this weren't bad enough, a pack of ten sachets will set you back almost four English pounds.  Probably no bad thing that it's terribly bad for me then.

Another Chai which I occasionally enjoy is Kruger Chai Latte with Vanilla.  In common with the Zuma Chai, it is a powdered, sachet Chai and of course it has the same problem with its sugar content.  The addition of vanilla makes this a lovely Chai however and so for those of you who don't have to watch their sugar intake too closely, it's another that I would highly recommend.  I buy this Chai in Sainsbury's and it cost just over two and a half pounds, again for ten sachets.

The star of the show however, discovered only this morning and to the great surprise of both myself and Ms Eatwell, is a new Chai teabag recently introduced by Asda. Yup ... Asda ... I'll just let that sink in for a second.

Good, ready now?  Okay, now I've got nothing at all against Asda own brand stuff.  Ms Eatwell and I undertake our main weekly shop and our top-up shop there every single week and we're both pretty satisfied with the majority of the produce on offer.  I think it would be fair to say though, that it's not often that a product comes along which so roundly spanks all of the competition and then sets light to it before dancing on the ashes.

This is Asda "Chosen by you" Chai Tea and we absolutely love it.  Based on black tea, the mix in each bag is actually fifty percent tea and fifty percent spice.  As I type these words, I have the box sitting next to me and the aroma is just sloshing over me in giant fragrant waves.  In terms of the spices themselves, the usual cinnamon and ginger are present but in addition there is pepper, allspice and in rather higher levels than usual for Chai, cloves.  I brewed the Chai bags in half a mug of boiling water, for the recommended time, and then added half a mug of semi-skimmed milk, heated in the microwave, and a teaspoon of Splenda for sweetness.  The resulting Chai was pale and mesmerisingly fragrant but the taste was simply amazing.  Superior in every way to any Chai that I've ever tasted, it was rich and warming while also being surprisingly refreshing, an aspect which particularly amazed Ms Eatwell.  Here's the killer thing though.  That wonderful cup of exotica contained no sugar and barely any calories.  I can drink as much of the stuff as I like!  I feel a bit giddy at the very idea - good job I'm sitting down at the moment.  Maybe a nice cup of Chai would help.  Oh, and something else I need to mention is that a box of fifty tea bags costs ~~drum roll please~~ ONE pound.  Tuppence a teabag!  I feel like buying a crate of the stuff as, in our experience, whenever we find a food or drink that we really enjoy, it seems to be immediately withdrawn from sale.  I think if this happened to the lovely Chai I would be practically inconsolable.

I'm sure Jenny would join me in heartily recommending this to Chai hounds and Chai newbies alike.  Give it a whirl - if you don't like it, then I'll be very happy to send you a self addressed jiffy bag!

~~ : ~~

I'd just like to point out that this blog post is in no way sponsored.  We paid for the tea bags ourselves and this is quite simply a case of credit where credit is due.


  1. I love chai tea, am completely hooked on it and just finished a mug of a chocolate version, so good!

    Will have a look next time in ASDA based on your glowing reccy!

    1. It is such a bonus to find a Chai that not only tastes good, but is sugar-free! I'd love to hear what you think, too.

  2. I wish I could find a twenty down my sofa lol. Mr Grub

    1. Exactly! It's as rare as rocking horse poo - as is our finding a product that we like THAT much! LOL

  3. I can't thank you enou for stumbling me. I' ll stumble another of your pages real soon. Have a great week

  4. It took a while but I finally have my hands on a box, think was around £1.30 now but...I really like it! Both and me and flatmate are enjoying it, hers black, mine sweetened with a splash of milk. Love its gentle spices will be a regular purchase! xx

    1. Oh well done Anne! I'm so glad you like it - we're still drinking it. :)


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