A modern day favourite, Chai tea, has its own long and rich history. Chai latte has become an everyday drink for many who frequent tea and coffee shops. A deliciously much loved tea which will be brewing in many cups around the world today, the recipe varies but the basis of it has been passed down from generation to generation.
What is Chai?
Chai or Chai Masala is a spiced tea. Chai is the Hindi word for tea, derived from the Chinese word cha, and chai masala literally means “mixed spice tea” . It is typically made using black tea leaves such as an Assam and a mix of spices. Spices like cardamon, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and peppercorns are added, the proportion and ingredients are not always the same.
Many regions have their own recipe, and many families do too. Cardamon and ginger are usually the stars of the tea, and cloves and black pepper are a popular additions to add a little heat, although in some western regions of India cloves are avoided. There is even a version made with Green tea and more subtle spices and almonds, this known as Kashmiri Chai.
Usually the leaves and spices are are boiled together in milk and water and sugar added, it is then either strained immediately or left to simmer and thicken for a little longer. There are various ways to make your own Chai Latte and you can even forgo the milk and drink it black if you wish by using all water.
In the 1830’s the East India trading company began to plant tea in India, an attempt to break away from dependency on the Chinese when it came to tea trade. Tea drinking caught on becoming a daily habit across the country.
While no one knows the exactly how the idea of adding spice to the tea came from it is thought to have some deeper origins in South Asia, and also in Ayurvedic medicine which used herbs and spices as tisanes for health. In Asia the tea plant and certain spices were used medicinally to ward off minor ailments such as colds…A yummy drink that’s good for you, maybe this is why it is so popular?
Our Chai Teas
A great place to start with exploring our chai selection. The black tea leaves used are soft enough that they allow the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom to shine through, but in a gentle enough way that most palates will enjoy it.
Our newest chai, and already one of our most favourite! The ratio of spice to tea in this blend is quite high and the tea leaves are a small CTC grade so they infuse quickly releasing a robust flavour. A little vanilla adds a whisper of sweetness to this tea making a pleasure with or without sugar.
If you would like all the the spice chai has to offer but don’t want the caffeine try this! A caffeine free Rooibos tea with plenty of warming cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves and aniseed. Perfect for any time of the night or day!
A chai with a fruity twist! A traditional loose Assam tea with lots of cardamon, spice and mango chunks that give it an added sweetness!
Chai tip: try mixing a nice chai tea with a hot chocolate to create a spiced chocolate beverage that is both indulgent and warming!
We have more to explore so pop in or order online and get warm with a delicious chai tea!