The Canberra Bus Depot Market is amazing and within walking distance from my house. I quite often wander over on Sunday afternoon as the markets are closing up to sample the testers and buy up some fresh-baked bread on sale (hey, I’m on a budget – there are countries to travel to, and Fairtrade clothes to be bought). A few months ago, I sampled the most amazing chai tea and I’ve been on a mission ever since to find the best Fairtrade chai tea on the market.
I quickly discovered there are a lot of Fairtrade chai teas on the market to try and compare.
This is a good thing. I love tea.
Choice Organic Teas Organic Indian Style Chai for $8.25 (loose leaf – 60grams)
Sweet and quick | 4/5
This one was my favourite. It needed less brewing time than the others – about 3 minutes. The cinnamon and clove flavours are strong, which results in a flavour that’s sweeter rather than spicy (my preference). Delicious, sweet, strong chai. I also like the brewing instructions on the back – who knew that you could make chai by using it in a French press as you would coffee? The only downside is that it’s loose leaf and quite fine – so it can be a little messy unless you have the appropriate tea strainer (I don’t). This is especially delicious with a teaspoon of Fairtrade raw honey.
Choice loose tea leafs (top left), Rishi Tea loose tea leafs (bottom right)
Rishi Tea Organic Masala Chai for $7.54 (loose leaf – 85grams)
Spicy | 2.5/5
This is quite similar to the Choice Indian Style Chai, but slightly spicier. I examined the loose leaf compared to the Choice tea – it appears to have less black tea and more spice. It’s also chunkier (easier to brew) but doesn’t brew quite as strong, quite as quick.
Pukka Herbs Original Chai for $6.94 (20 sachets)
Sweet | 3/5
This was my favourite of the chai teas in teabags/sachets. It’s strong on cinnamon, which makes it more sweet than spicy. However, I find the liquorice a little off-putting, even though it is only a hint (I don’t like liquorice at all). It needs about 5 minutes to brew.
Numi Tea Golden Chai for $7.28 (18 teabags)
Liquorice-y | 1.5/5
My verdict on this one is strongly influenced by the fact that this tea has anise, and it’s pretty strong. I just really don’t like anise. If you like liquorice tea, then you will probably like this chai. Although, I do like that the brewing instructions tell you to pour hot water over your teabag and then “dance with your loved one” while it steeps for 4-5 minutes.
Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, Coconut Chai for $6.59 (22 sachets)
Hmmm. I’m not sure about this one. To be honest, I’ve only had one cup, which tells me that I didn’t like it very much. I’m just not sure that the coconut and orange peel work with the chai spices (for me, at least). Maybe I will try a normal cup of chai with coconut milk instead…
Sweet but slow | 3.5/5
This is my second favourite. It’s delicious and the hint of vanilla is perfect if you’re after something sweet – it just takes ages to get strong.
Numa tea golden chai, doin’ it’s thing