I love tea parlours. I love the modern granny fusion trend of reasonably young (like me!) people hanging out in dark, mysterious corners of these tea parlours. Sometimes harem chic, sometimes Japanese zen, these parlours are a sensory delight. From an array of every possible kind of tea in the world displayed for all to touch, smell and taste to an almost British quirky army of mismatched and utterly delightful teapots and cups; one could get lost for hours.
I am lucky enough to have a great, ever-changing, ever-evolving T2 in my suburb. The girls are always friendly and the tea is always hot or cold depending on your choice of arson. When the weather turns, I cannot go past Black Velvet. It is a generous offering of strong Russian Caravan Hot Chocolate. It is piping hot, it is plenty and it is rich. Sipped at a leisurely pace, it can last you for an hour.
Today I was in the mood to recreate the $7 glass of chocolate chai luxury at home and I wasn't disappointed. I took it slow, as I always do with brewing tea. I brewed a pot of steaming Russian Caravan, I gently stirred and simmered a pan of creamy hot chocolate, I infused spices, I dipped, I tasted, I let go. The world around me slowed down as the aroma of the chocolate and spices took over. I felt calm. Before I shot the pictures, I sat down with a steaming mug and revelled in it languorously. It felt like a ritual, even though it was for the very first time. It felt good. I might be indulging in this slowing-down ritual for the next few weeks and the thought alone is like a warm hug. Do you have a slowing-down-ritual? Do you do it often?
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HOT CHOCOLATE CHAI TEA
for the hot chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups full-fat milk
- 1/4 cup thickened cream
- 3 tablespoons hot chocolate powder
for the chai
- 3 teaspoons black tea leaves, (use Russian Caravan tea for best flavour)
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 2 whole pods of star anise
- 3 cups boiling water
- cocoa powder, for serving
- Combine all ingredients for chai in a teapot. Brew for 5 minutes. Strain and set aside. Reserve the star anise and cinnamon.
- In a milk pan (I use a Reiss enamel pan and it is perfect!), heat milk and cream on medium. When the milk starts foaming at the edges, add the star anise, cinnamon and hot chocolate powder. Add a cup of the strained tea. Simmer, stirring gently and constantly for about 5 minutes until hot and steamy.
- Pour in large mugs or glasses, dust with cocoa powder and serve immediately.
- This tea can be made in advance and simply reheated in the microwave.
- Russian Caravan tea can be substituted with Orange Pekoe, Assam or Irish Breakfast.
Am drinking this right now and it is delicioud. Glad you can reheat it as it makes a little more than I could drink in one go.
Most mornings I want hot chocolate or chai... combining the two has just blown.my.mind!
Oh yum! How i'd love to tuck in with this on a rainy afternoon. Sounds super delicious, Sneh! 🙂
Each and every single one of your pictures is a piece of art!
I am a tea lover and this post reminded me of this place in Bangalore where we girlfriends used to hang out a lot . It's called 'Infinitea' I miss that place!
Very cozy. I forget it's autumn in Oz. My fav season. Summer's just starting here in Calif....
I am a recent convert to T2 with one opening in our fair city a few months ago. I just love how simple and lovely your tea making ritual is and it reminds me of the short time I spent in India a couple of years ago. There is a bit of an art form to making a good chai, I am yet to find my mojo with it but this post has given me something to work with so thank you. My 'slowing down' ritual is making oatmeal on the stovetop, there is no recipe, I do as you have described, dipping and tasting until I have reached the desired consistency and flavour. It is always so satisfying.
One question, where did you get your adorable little tea glass cosy from?
Wow! I had never heard of this fascinating fusion before! Have enjoyed various kinds of chai, of course, and sometimes indulge in hot chocolate, but - I truly have learnt something new tonight and it even has an exotic name Black Velvet 🙂 ! Shall certainly try!!
I love Black Velvet from T2 (had one yesterday) so will defnitely try to make it at home (we are into brewed Chai with lots of Soy milk at the moment).
PS love your glove around the glass 🙂
love the glass cozy ! perfect for a cold day 🙂
What a spectacular combination of two of my favourite beverages. Also, RUSSIAN CARAVAN, AWW YEAH! I'm enjoying the rise of the tea parlour as well! Love your photos... and your transparent tea pot.
oh yum! I have been quite into tea at the moment. And this, genius combo of flavours!
Hi Sneh, Reading through this post reminded me of my own habit of drinking tea in a sluggish-sorta way.. taking in a sip at a time.. taking a long time to finish my mug. Here, the cafe culture is more popular than tea parlors.. at least so far.
Love the idea of infused hot chocolate tea. The picture of the teapot is so beautiful.
How cute is the chocolate pourer 😀
Divine and perfect for the cold winter days!
I've never had a Black Velvet but I love the idea of hot chocolate fused with chai tea!