How To Make Pink Tea

How To Make Pink Tea – Kashmiri Chai + The Best Store Bought Brands

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing cup of tea! Tea enthusiasts will know that there are many different types of tea, each with its own distinct characteristics.

If you’ve ever had pink tea at your local café, you may be wondering how to make it at home.

It’s not hard to make pink tea at home, but what is it? Pink tea, also known as Kashmiri chai, is made by blending green tea, salt, baking soda, and milk carefully. It is prepared by simmering the green tea leaves slowly in water until they are thoroughly infused, and then combining them with the other ingredients to create a creamy, pink tea that has subtle and complex flavors.

Not sure where to begin making Kashmiri chai? We’ve got the ultimate guide for you! We’ve also rounded up the best brands of store-bought pink tea for your convenience.

What Is Pink Tea (Kashmiri Chai)?

Known as Kashmiri chai and originating from the Kashmir Valley, pink tea is not like any other tea blend!

A Kashmiri chai is also known as noon chai, pink chai, or noon chai. The word noon means salt in Kashmiri, which explains the first rather unusual ingredient.

Even though this tea contains salt, it tastes much better when combined with the other ingredients!

Another unusual aspect of pink tea is that it is made from green tea instead of black tea.

Normally, black tea is used for drinks with milk, and green tea for drinks without. However, in Kashmiri chai, green tea and milk are mixed together to create something truly unique.

Kashmiri chai’s pink color is entirely derived from green tea leaves, which are responsible for its delicate pink hue.

By adding baking soda to boiling tea leaves, a chemical reaction occurs that gives this traditional hot drink its pink color.

There are myriad ways to make pink tea, but the basic idea is the same. Some people like to add spices and other flavors, while others think that they overwhelm the delicate flavor.

Some people prefer not to add salt or sugar to their pink teas.

In order to make pink tea, you must start with the right kind of tea. Kashmiri chai is made with Kashmiri green tea leaves.

In addition to green tea from other regions, you can also make pink tea with light green or roasted leaves.

How To Make Pink Tea – Kashmiri Chai

In order to give you a recipe as close to the traditional method as possible, we have narrowed down the selection of variations and techniques used to make Kashmiri chai.

Ingredients:

  • (Alternatively, you can use green tea leaves) 1 tablespoon Kashmiri loose tea leaves

  • Water 1 cup

  • Salt, 1 pinch

  • Baking soda, 1 pinch

  • Milk, full fat or semi-skimmed

  • Sugar, 1 teaspoon

  • Crushed pistachio nuts, 1 tablespoon

Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the tea leaves, salt, and water

  • Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and bring to a boil

  • Stir in the baking soda

  • As it reduces, you will need to add more water. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add ice-cold water when the water turns a deep reddish color.

  • Stir the milk and sugar together

  • For a couple of minutes, bring to a gentle simmer

  • Strain the tea as you pour it into cups.

  • Add crushed pistachios to each cup.

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Pink Tea – Kashmiri Chai

45 minutes to cook

45 minutes in total

It’s easy to make delicious pink Kashmiri chai tea!

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Ingredients

  • A tablespoon of Kashmiri loose tea leaves (or green tea leaves as an alternative)

  • Water 1 cup

  • Salt, 1 pinch

  • A pinch of bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda)

  • Milk, full fat or semi-skimmed

  • Sugar, 1 teaspoon

  • Crushed pistachio nuts, 1 tablespoon

Instructions

  1. Tea leaves, salt, and water should be added to a small saucepan.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

  3. Stir in the baking soda.

  4. As it reduces, you will need to add more water. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Add ice-cold water when the water turns a deep reddish color.

  6. Stir the milk and sugar together.

  7. For a couple of minutes, simmer gently.

  8. Strain the tea as you pour it into cups.

  9. Add crushed pistachios to each cup.

Recipe Variations

Nonetheless, there are a few tweaks you can make if this recipe isn’t quite your cup of tea (pardon the pun).

To begin with, many people dislike the idea of salty tea. Salt isn’t necessary for the tea to be colored, so you can omit it.

There is a small amount of salt used, but it is not as prominent as in some other salted teas, such as Tibetan tea, and the milk and sugar help to conceal the salty taste.

Spices can be added to the water at the start of the brewing process to enhance the flavor and avoid any grainy residue at the bottom.

Try a cinnamon stick, a pinch of cloves, two star anise pods, or two lightly crushed cardamom pods with pink tea.

The flavor of pistachio milk works really well when blended into a hot cup of Kashmiri tea. If you want an alternative to dairy milk, try cashew or hazelnut milk.

We like crushed almonds, hazelnuts, or pecan nuts on top of a steaming cup of pink tea if we don’t have any pistachio nuts on hand.

What Is The Best Kashmiri Chai Or Pink Tea?

The good news is that there are a variety of options available to you, from authentic Kashmiri tea leaves to a quick premade Kashmiri tea mix.

The original recipe calls for loose Kashmiri tea leaves, but these can be quite expensive, and many people have good results with other types of green tea.

It is best to avoid roasted green tea and light green tea because they will not produce the delicate pink color we are looking for.

As busy people, we don’t always have time to spend nearly an hour making a cup of tea. In this case, pre-made pink tea is an excellent alternative.

Typically, these contain added spices, flavorings, and other ingredients that produce an intense pink color.

Check out these store-bought options for making Kashmiri chai at home!

1. Dharma Alif Premium Kashmiri Namkeen Tea

A pure Kashmiri chai used to brew pink tea using the traditional method is our top choice for purists.

This is the type of tea leaves you need to make pink chai the way it is made in Kashmir.

It comes with complete instructions on how to make Kashmiri chai, as well as hints to help you along the way and delicious serving suggestions.

The product comes in a resealable package and has a shelf life of 18 months.

2. Naturevibe Botanicals Kashmiri Tea Blend

A blend of green tea and spices gives this tea an authentic Kashmiri chai flavor.

In the pink tea method outlined above, you can combine green tea with cardamom, cinnamon, saffron & almonds to make an exciting blend of flavors.

It should be kept in a cool, dark place to maintain its freshness for two years from the date of manufacture.

3. Austin Chai Wala Kashmiri Tea 

This is a great alternative to standing over the stove for hours to make pink tea.

Because this tea is made from a pre-brewed tea concentrate, you don’t have to do any hard work!

It consists of brewed green tea, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon.

It comes with crushed nuts ready to sprinkle on top and is boiled in a pan with milk until heated through.

4. FGO Organic Green Tea Bags

Finding organic Kashmiri loose tea can be a bit of a challenge.

Using a standard organic green tea, like this innovative brand, is a good solution.

The process of making pink tea with teabags is also much easier, as you don’t have to strain the tea.

While the color might not be as intense as loose leaf tea, the flavor will still be superb.

5. Royal Chai Premium Instant Kashmiri Chai Tea

We all know it should be all about making tea using authentic, traditional methods, but quite frankly, we all have busy schedules and sometimes just want something quick!

These instant pink tea sachets are perfect if you want to enjoy Kashmiri chai without the hassle.

Green tea extract, skimmed milk powder, sugar, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, beetroot, fennel, and saffron are all carefully blended into each sachet.

We use only natural ingredients without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Pour the contents of the sachet into a cup, top with hot milk, and stir. Sprinkle chopped pistachio on top for an authentic flavor.

What Does Kashmiri Chai Taste Like?

The delicate blend of subtle green tea leaves, milk, salt, and sugar in Kashmiri pink tea makes it unlike any other tea.

The delicate milky tea gives a completely different experience, with an aromatic delightfulness and a light and refreshing taste that we are accustomed to tasting in milky teas.

A good way to describe pink tea’s flavor would be to describe it as creamy, milky, citrusy and floral.

It is common to add spices to Kashmiri pink tea, but they are kept as subtle and delicate as possible to avoid overpowering the delicate chai flavors. Popular spices include cinnamon and cardamom.

Whether it’s a delicious shortbread or raisin cookie paired with a hot cup of fresh pink tea, Kashmiri chai pairs well with cakes and pastries with a light, caramel flavor.

How Is Kashmiri Chai Made?

In order to create the unique pink color of Kashmiri Chai, you need to gently simmer loose-leaf green tea, then follow a series of steps.

Tea making requires patience, and it is not a quick process. However, the best things come to those who wait.

Tea is made by gently simmering Kashmiri loose green tea leaves in lightly salted water until their delicate flavors are released.

After the tea has been well brewed, baking soda is added. Baking soda reacts with chlorophyll in the tea leaves, turning the color from green to pink.

The color of pink tea is entirely derived from the tea leaves themselves, without any artificial or natural coloring.

In the most traditional form of this recipe, the baking soda is omitted, and instead the tea is simmered and reduced for hours before being beaten with a whisk to aerate.

Only the most dedicated tea drinkers should attempt this workout!

Next, add ice cold water to the brewed pink tea. We’re not sure what kind of mystical chemistry is at work here, but this is supposed to shock the tea and seal in its color.

Do you think pink tea is consumed cold? The tea-making process doesn’t end there. After the cold water is added, the tea is reheated to a gentle simmer, and milk and sugar are added.

Pistachios are served on top of the strained tea as a final step.

This is going to take some time, but it is worth the effort! Watching your tea simmer away gently is a great way to practice mindfulness before enjoying a relaxing cup.

Although it can take some practice to get the color of your pink tea exactly right, you’ll still have a delicious drink, no matter what color it is.

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