There! I said it! They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I confess I have an addiction to masala chai tea bags from Indian groceries! My favorite at the moment is Masala Chai from Tea India. At just $4.99 for a box of 72 tea bags, it's a pretty good deal!
These are round tea bags (like the ones from Republic of Tea). Ingredients are: black tea, ginger root, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and "natural flavors". In other words, typical masala chai ingredients.
The aroma of the teabags before steeping is predominantly cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Directions call for 1 cup of boiling water per tea bag, steep for 3 to 5 minutes. I tend to steep my black tea on the longer side if I'm just doing a single steeping, because I like that "bite" that stands up to milk and sugar.
The steeped tea smells like a lemony black tea with cloves, I don't really smell the other ingredients, but I do taste them! This is a nice brisk tannic, jammy tea with a heavy clove flavor. What I love about masala chai from India as opposed to the more American-style blends (like Starbucks) are the cloves and black pepper: those spices both give it a kick and really add substance and essence. This tea yields a beautiful cinnamon-brown-colored liquor.
This morning I added some coconut sugar and some coconut-almond milk. I've had it before with regular white sugar and cow's milk and it's delicious like that too.
Now that you know my secret, do you still respect me?