Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lipton - Milk Tea Original

Milk Tea or Chai is as Indian as Apple Pie is American. When I think about eating break fast as a kid I do not have images of plates filled with fatty bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast. No. My mind is swirling with visions of thick slices of heavily buttered toast dipped into large hot cups of milky sweet Indian tea with a slight hint of spice. I recall dipping biscuits one by one into my tea, trying to douse them just enough to make them soft but not too flaccid where they tear under their own weight and sink to the bottom of my cup. Or I would set up 5 small gem biscuits in my saucer and pour hot tea over them and watch the biscuits double in size. There is no biscuit that can compare to the Indian KHARA biscuit. The man would come to our door every morning delivering fresh flaky KHARA biscuits. You can not understand it until you have experienced dipping these flaky creations into a hot cup of Chai and slipping the bar into your mouth allowing the large serving of tea they have absorbed to flow over your tongue and down your throat. Those were the days. Tea just does not taste like that anymore. Over the years my mind has been corrupted my too many flavors and my mind by too many sensations. Now I seek solace in Lipton’s Milk Tea Original Mix.

The standard box contains 10 sachets of 3-in-1 Milk Tea Mixes. They are pretty easy to tear open although I have gone a bit too diagonally once or twice and ripped the bag straight down the middle. It makes quite a mess.

Pour the powder mix into a small cup. I do not have a small cup in the office so I just use my large blue mug. I usually only drink Milk Tea mix at work and try to make real tea at home when I can. But it never comes out like it did when I was a kid or like the stuff I get on the streets of Mumbai. If I do not hold the sachet well inside the mug when I pour it out then some of the powder tends to go airborne. I can not stand to loose any of the particles because the flavor might not be strong enough then.

Add hot water! If your mug is big then only fill it up half way, or use 2 sachets. This mix is designed for dainty tea cups so too much water will totally kill the flavor. Stir and stir and stir profusely for about 20 seconds. The mix dissolves surprisingly well.

I must say that Lipton’s Milk Tea Original is very very good. Of course it can not hold a hair up to my childhood Chai, but for a 3-in-1 mix, it kicks ass. I can easily put down about 3 cups a day at work. My guests and staff seem to love it too and we seem to go though about 50 sachets a week. When the real thing is not available, this is a decent alternative. It surly tastes better than a cup of tea bagged water with condensed milk. The balance of tea, milk, and sugar is juuuuuuuuust right.

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