Best Readymade Indian Chai Masala Tea Bags
We dipped and we sipped and found the best tasting chai masala tea bags for you! Our Top Pick has the most beautiful blend of tea leaves and spice mix. The best readymade Indian chai masala tea bags are..
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Indians have a deep connection with their cup of masala chai, and no amount of calling it ‘chai latte’ or ‘chai tea’ will change our feelings towards it. While fancy tea flavors may come and go, no one dares to mess with a cup of classic kadak masala chai. But not every time do you have access to your favorite ingredients to brew a fresh cup. Enter, tea bags! Teabags, needless to say, bring in a lot of convenience and are vastly popular throughout the world. We reviewed five different brands of chai masala tea bags to find the best one for you. After sipping on copious amounts of masala tea over days, we chose Vahdam Teas Original Masala Chai Tea as our Top Pick. We also recommend Organic India’s Tulsi Masala Chai. Here’s why!
Table of Contents
Top Pick – Vahdam Teas Original Masala Chai Tea
Why did we choose Vahdam Teas India’s Original Masala Chai Tea as our Top Pick?
We chose Vahdam Teas India’s Original Masala Chai Tea as our Top Pick because it packs in the most flavor, and the masala blend is robust. Our cup of masala tea had a beautiful balance of flavors of black tea leaves and spices. It comes the closest to a cup of homemade doodh-wali masala tea.
Vahdam Teas Original Masala Chai Tea’s full-bodied masala flavor was delicious and warming.
MRP – Rs 200/-*
Teabags – 15
Net weight (per tea bag) – 2 grams
*Price at the time of review
To get a better view of the contents of each tea bag, we emptied the contents of each masala tea bag on a plate. We could see almost all the ingredients mentioned on the pack. The tea and masala mix is not in a powdered form, and all the elements are distinguishable. The tea leaves are long, and we could clearly see the cloves and cardamom pieces.
The dominant clove aroma is very pleasing, and we loved how the sweet cardamom and cinnamon flavor linger in the background.
The concoction made using this tea bag is clear and dark amber in color. The clarity in the tea is indicative of the superior quality of ingredients used.
During our taste test, the masala tea made using Vahdam Teas tasted the best after adding the milk as well. The clove flavor is the most dominating one. A box of 15 tea bags of the Vahdam Teas Original Masala Chai is priced at Rs 200/-. The net weight of each tea bag is 2 grams. There are no staple pins on the tea bags. The pyramid-shaped tea bags have a very premium look and are made using a nylon mesh. The ingredients include Black tea (86%), Cardamom (4%), Cinnamon (3%), Black pepper (4%), and Clove (3%).
Also Recommended – Organic India Tulsi Masala Chai
Why do we recommend Organic India Tulsi Masala Chai?
We also recommend Organic India Tulsi Masala Chai because of the heady tulsi aroma, taste, and warming notes it lends to our cup of tea. This tea can also be had without milk as the spice blend is superlative.
Organic India’s Tulsi Masala Chai is dominant on the tulsi flavor and aroma.
MRP – Rs 174/-*
Teabags – 25
Net weight (per tea bag) – 2.1 grams
*Price at the time of review
Upon dry inspection, we could see a lot of mixed spices and dried tulsi leaves. The aroma of tulsi is undeniably rich. We could smell and taste a lot of tulsi and ginger. The overall tea is very warming and soothing.
When we added water to our cup, the color was the lightest and looked more like green tea than black tea. This may not be the masala chai you would want to have every day and cannot be the perfect replacement for homemade or stove made chai, but it is undoubtedly an occasional drink that is high on flavor and feels lighter on the palate and tummy.
A box of 25 tea bags of the Organic India Tulsi Masala Chai is priced at Rs 174/-. The net weight of each tea bag is 2.1 grams. As our Top Pick, there are no staple pins on the tea bag. Key ingredients include mixed spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, mace. Apart from this it contains Assam black tea, Krishna Tulsi, Rama tulsi, and Vana tulsi. All ingredients used are organic.
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Why did the other contenders lag behind?
Karma Kettle Authentic Masala Tea
The aroma of this masala tea resembled the aroma of the chai we usually get from an office vending machine. The sweet, milky kind that is hugely kadha hua. Not only that, we could not see any spices in the dry blend at all. We found the basic tea leaf flavor missing. A box of 100 tea bags is priced at Rs 400/- and each tea bag holds 2 grams of the blend.
Chaayos Masala Chai
The dominant aroma is that of black pepper and ginger, which hit our noses. The powdery contents and the unidentifiable spices and tea leaves were not a favorable quality. The pepper domination in the taste and aroma department made this masala tea inch closer to being a kaadha than a cup of tea. A box of 25 tea bags is priced at Rs 199/- and each tea bag holds 2 grams of the blend.
Taj Mahal Masala Chai
First and foremost, the tea bag had staple pins, a complete no-no. Even though the Taj Mahal Masala Chai was flavorful, we had to push it out of the running because of the staple pin that was on the tea bag. We could see extremely small specs of some spices that remained unidentifiable, aroma wise or visually, during our dry inspection. The tea tasted a lot like strong elaichi chai, with a sharp cardamom aroma. Color-wise, the concoction was a healthy brown in color. Even though the pricing is fair and the tea tasted flavorful, Taj Mahal Masala Chai was counted out of the race purely on the fact that it has staple pins in every tea bag.
Our Review Process
Who would have thought that these tiny little bags could hold in so much flavor and aroma? Our review process included dipping and sipping on multiple cups of masala chai. After careful consideration, we landed on our winners. Here is how we found the best readymade Indian Chai Masala Tea Bags for you.
What Actually Goes In A Masala Chai?
While the spices that are used to make a masala chai may vary from region to region, there are a few basic ingredients that form the core. Not all the spices need to be paired together, and quite often, different herbs are combined to make a cup of masala tea. Modifications can be made to a masala tea recipe keeping personal preferences in mind.
Ginger (अदरक) – Ginger helps add warmth and spice. Not only that, it is extremely helpful in digestion.
Green Cardamom (इलायची) – Green cardamom or elaichi adds a mild sweetness and fruitiness to the cup.
Holy Basil (तुलसी) – Proven to help boost immunity, Tulsi, lends its astringent flavor to the tea.
Black Pepper (काली मिर्च) – Black pepper or kaali mirch is a warming spice that also helps soothe a sore, scratchy throat.
Cloves (लौंग) – The intense aroma and slight note of bitterness of cloves in a cup of chai is meant to be very warming.
Cinnamon (दालचीनी) – Cinnamon is a spice often associated with sweet and woody flavors.
Fennel Seeds (सौंफ) – Saunf has a lingering sweet taste and aroma.
Who Is This Review For?
If you are a masala chai lover, this review is for you. If you are not a fan of the tea from the office machine, or the closest tapri, or are looking to stock up on some for your own office, our review will guide you towards the best options in the market. This review is for all the people who want the blend and flavor of tea, similar to the one made on a stove top at home.
To find the best Masala Chai Tea Bags, we tested them for four main parameters –
- Color – Here, we noticed how clear or muddy is the concoction. We took into consideration the color of the chai in the pre-milk and post-milk stage. Not that the color would make a difference in the flavor of the chai, but it does give you an indication of the quality of ingredients used.
- Aroma – How was the aroma of the tea leaves? Is there any spice that is dominant? If yes, which one and is it nice?
- Flavor – We wanted to see how flavorful is the blend of spices and does it mix well with the flavor of the chai? Which is the dominant masala? Is it sublime or robust?
- Overall Experience – This section includes the pricing, value for money, quality of the tea bags and the presence of staple pins. Staple pins are a big no-no in any tea bag. Why? In January 2019, FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), banned the use of staple pins in tea bags as they can be a health and safety hazard.
How We Reviewed
We divided our review process into three stages –
Phase 1 included visual inspection of the tea bags. We cut open all the tea bags and emptied the contents on a white plate. After noting down the size of the tea leaves, and any noticeable spices we moved onto the next stage.
- During our Phase 2 we checked them for aroma.
- Phase 3 included the taste test. We placed fresh tea bags in the glasses and poured hot water. The color and the clarity of the concoction were observed. The next step was to add in some milk. Instead of fresh milk, we used Nestle Everyday Dairy Whitener which was our Top Pick from our creamy dairy whitener review earlier. We made milk using the whitener and added 2 tablespoons of it to each cup. We tasted the masala teas individually to test them for the tea flavor and to see if the blend of masalas is in harmony with each other.
After tasting all the brands of chai side by side, we decided on our winner.
Quick Comparison – Best Masala Chai Tea Bags
|Number of tea bags
|All ingredients were discernible.
|Very small, least visible masala elements
|We could see a lot of mixed spices, and dried tulsi leaves.
|Dominating Spice Flavor
Results Of Our Review
When we started sipping on masala chai on a cold, gloomy winter morning, our day automatically improved tenfold. After more than two dozen cups of chai over days, we chose Vahdam Teas India’s Original Chai Tea as our Top Pick. The masala chai made using Vahdam Teas was the tastiest and had the most robust masala taste and aroma. The masala tea bags were the most premium looking as well. We Also Recommend Organic India Tulsi Masala Chai for its beautiful tulsi aroma and flavor.
Which are your favorite ingredients to make a cup of aromatic masala chai?
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