Ever wondered why is your Kashmiri chai not turning pink? Read my blog and find out 12 commonly made blunders that can be easily evaded.
I am a tea enthusiast and a passionate blogger. Now, I also run my own cafe in Kolkata city and aspire to open my own label that will take my love for the beverage even further.
Why Is Your Kashmiri Chai Not Turning Pink: 12 Common Mistakes To Avoid
Kashmiri pink tea is a rich and comforting drink. As the name suggests, its roots can be attributed to the beautiful and lush Kashmir valley in India. The tea is known for its stand-out pink color and if your tea doesn’t turn pink, you might as well admit that something’s definitely missing or gone wrong. So, let us find out the mistakes that are often made.
1. Why Is Kashmiri Chai Pink In Color?
Before we move ahead into the blog and understand why the tea isn’t turning pink, it is important that we understand the science behind its pink color. Now, for a better understanding, do read my blog on Why is Sheer Chai pink and contemplate through 19 vibrant reasons.
Since a major chunk has been covered in the blog link shared above, I will just describe the process in a few words. The tea’s pink color is a result of the reaction that takes place when chlorophyll along with baking soda creates the chemical change giving the liquid a reddish tinge.
2. Having A Hawk’s Eye On The Ingredients That Makes The Tea Pink
Let us have a close look at the prime ingredients without which the tea will not get the pink color it is known for.
We know that when chlorophyll comes in contact with baking soda it turns into a reddish tinge. Now, the hot liquid is further dashed with cold water and is stirred occasionally. Then milk and spices like star anise, and cardamom are added. The tea is garnished with rose petals and nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc. So, to sum up I would say good quality water, milk, salt, baking soda, ice-cold water, and Kashmiri tea leaves are the ingredients that give the tea the desired pink color.
3. Things To Do When The Tea Doesn’t Turn Pink
Kashmiri pink tea or Noon chai is known for its pink color and at times you might not get the desired color. I failed miserably when I first made the tea but, I didn’t give up. So, I am sharing my trick with you below.
If the color of the tea doesn’t turn out pink, you may want to check the liquid for the right amount of baking soda, the ratio of cold & hot water, the brew or the steep time, the quality of the leaves, adding cold water at the right time. Baking soda, good quality tea leaves, spices, milk, cold water, and salt are the backbone. The absence of any of the ingredients mentioned will hamper the color and the taste too.
4. How Can I Make Green Tea Turn Pink?
Kashmiri noon chai is made from Kashmiri tea leaves native to the region and is what makes the tea so luxurious. Now, since they are only found in Kashmir, people often tend to use green tea. So, let us see how we too can achieve the same feat.
Salt and baking soda are the two most important ingredients that you would require. The amount of baking soda would depend on the kind of tea leaves. Salt acts as a catalyst, that stops the tea leaves from getting burned or losing their moisture. Milk fused with spices like star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon on coming in contact with the hot tea turns it into the desired pink color. Now, the steep time and the ratio of cold to hot water is an important aspect to consider along with the steep time.
5. Did You Know The Brewing Time Plays A Very Important Role In The Tea’s Pink Color?
Brewing time is the whole process or act of making the tea and includes the steep time too. Now, if you want to know more about how they differ read my blog, Steeping v/s brewing tea and let my 13 vital factors put an end to the debate.
Tea experts will tell you that the tea should be steeped for an ideal time ranging from 20 minutes to 30 minutes and I follow their advice while making the tea. Now, some people will tell you that the longer the steep the better the result. This is true till you do not over-boil the tea leaves as this process will make the tea bitter due to the release of tannins.
6. Does The Tea Leaves Have Any Impact On The Pink Color Of Kashmiri Tea?
As a tea fanatic and a passionate blogger, good-quality loose tea leaves is what I use at home and at my shop. Did you know tea experts too would advise you on this practice too?
To make the tea I highly recommend Kashmiri tea leaves which is a high quality Gunpowder tea. The name is so given as it is rolled into pellets. Loose tea leaves give a better infusion and brew. I would also suggest taking equal spoons of the leaves in direct proportion with the water. This way the taste and the color will be uniform throughout. So, we can say that the leaves do play a very important role.
7. Does Overbrewing The Tea Have Any Effect On Kashmiri Chai’s Color Not Turning Pink?
Let us now see how over brewing the tea affects the color.
Over-brewing has been termed similar to over-boiling the leaves and we all know that this releases tannins making the tea bitter to taste. Also, when we over steep the leaves are cooked and they lose all their moisture. This again accounts for a watery texture that will stop the tea from turning pink as baking soda will not be able to stop the leaves from losing their moisture. Thus, over brewing is something that should never be practised.
8. What Tea Leaves Do You Recommend That Will Help Me To Attain A Pink Color On Kashmiri Tea?
I have always laid emphasis on the tea leaves as they can make or break the tea. So, let us see the tea leaves that’s recommended to get the desired pink color.
Kashmiris use Kashmiri tea leaves which are native to the region only. Though many people use Green tea leaves, I prefer using Gunpowder tea. The leaves are rolled into pellets and hence the name. The tea is also called Pearl tea and offers a smoky or a woody flavor. This is a strong tea that helps to balance the sweet, savory, and spicy notes of the tea. Many would also tell you to use Sounrouge(a type of green tea) instead and just add a citrus element. However, I will not recommend this at all for the simple reason that milk is an essential part of the tea and when a sour element is added the milk will curdle.
9. Can I Use Old Tea Leaves For The Desired Pink Color On My Tea?
Let us see if old tea leaves can be used to make the tea and what to expect.
Old tea leaves or used tea leaves as they are also called are used by many people to make Noon chai and when the tea doesn’t turn pink they are disappointed. Do you know that using old tea leaves you will never get the desired pink color? This is because the leaves have been used or re-used multiple times. Moreover, the tea will lack the flavorful taste it is known for. Thus, I strongly advise using fresh tea leaves Only.
10. Have You Considered The Brewing Time As A Crucial Step To Make The Tea Turn Pink?
Brewing is the art or the whole process of making tea and is often the most neglected part. Let us see how this aspect is responsible for Kashmiri tea’s pleasing pink color.
I have already discussed my method along with the brewing time which should ideally range between 20-30 minutes though the longer the brew the pinker will be the color. A Kashmiri friend of mine brews his tea for 40 minutes and claims this method helps him to increase the aroma and flavor. Now, the time would depend on the color or texture you want. Also, if you see that the water has evaporated but, the water still hasn’t changed its color(we are looking for a reddish tinge), I recommend cooking for some more time by adding more water.
11. Are You Adding Ice Cold Water At The Right Time To Your Pink Tea?
Adding ice-cold water to pink tea is another important step that will add the desired pink color to the tea. Let us see the correct time of adding water to the tea.
I hope you know that the tea should be brewed for 20-40 minutes or till the time the liquid doesn’t get a reddish color. This is the time we should add our ice-cold water. Also, the cold water should be of the same quantity of water as compared to normal filtered water. Do let me know how the tea turned out in the comments section below.
12. Did You Know That The Utensils Too Are Responsible For Turning Kashmiri Tea Pink?
Let us now stress on the utensils that are used to turn the tea pink.
Samovar is widely used by the Kashmiris to brew their pink tea and they swear by this age-old tradition. However, this may not be available in every household but, that shouldn’t stop you from making the tea. I do not have the Samovar but, I still make the tea quite often and I use my trusted steel pot. The pot boils the water evenly and I love the tea for its rich, buttery texture with a savory taste.
This concludes my blog and I hope I was able to clear your doubts as to why your Kashmiri chai is not turning pink. Feel free to ask me questions or any doubts that you have. Just drop them in the comments section below and I will gladly answer them for you. Also, do visit my website, to get your tea fix. Want to stay updated with all the latest news in the tea world? Simply sign for my newsletter. Click on the About tab and scroll to the bottom and enjoy the latest trend or be up-to-date with newly published blogs.
Hi. I’m Sneha. Each day, I brew, relish, study and sell tea in my Cafe based out of Kolkata, India. My current blog, ‘Sipper Sneha’ is an expansion of my real life love for tea into an online space for all dedicated Tea enthusiasts.