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Other Chai Blends

Chai Wallah
Chai Wallah in Kolkata India

The Chinese had two words for tea; 荼 (tú) and 茶 (chá). In Europe "tú" eventually became "tea" in English, "thé" in French, "tee" in German, and so forth. But in most of the rest of the world "chá" was used as the root for "Chai". Interestingly "trà" is tea in Vietnamese, which seems to be a combination of both.

So as you can see, chai simply means tea. However, when English speakers say "chai" they are most certainly referring to "masala chai", which means "spiced tea" and is a common drink in India.

The spices used can be almost anything, but in general they include ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and black pepper. (These are the ingredients we use in our blend.) These spices are combined with Assam CTC black tea and added to simmering milk with honey or sugar. The mixture is then strained before serving.

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Thumbnail of Kashmiri Green Chai
Kashmiri green chai is high in antioxidants and is extremely useful to the immune system. It offers the fabulous flavors associated with traditional chai: cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Add to this almonds, cardamom seeds, and additional cinnamon flavor; and you have something truly wonderful.
Thumbnail of Rooibos Masala Chai | Organic
Traditionally chai, with its base mixture of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and clove, is considered to be one of the more overtly spicy and exhilarating blends.

Because of the two conflicting characteristics of this tea, it makes a great late afternoon drink. It wont keep you up all night, but it might give you that last boost of energy to get you through the day.

Thumbnail of Roasted Mate Chai
Looking for an all natural Chai with an extra kick? Look no further. Roasted Mate Chai with its heady blend of Brazilian mate and rich spices. The kick comes from the caffeine content of mate, sometimes called matteine, which is generally higher than that of black tea.
Thumbnail of Masala Spice Mix | Organic
We use these spices for mixing our various Chai blends. You can drink it on its own for a caffeine free Chai experience, or add it to tea you already have to make your own chai.

Tea

A strong Assam or Ceylon black tea is often used when making chai. Black tea works well because it is not overpowered by the spices and sweeteners. That does not mean other types cant be used, in Kashmir chai is sometimes made with gunpowder green tea, and for a caffeine free variation Rooibos can be used.

Spices

Almost all masala chai has ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove as basic ingredients. Other "warm" spices commonly used are star anise, peppercorns, fennel, vanilla, chocolate, nutmeg, cocoa, liquorice, mint, and rose.

Milk

Whole milk is used for its richness, but non-dairy milk (soy, rice, hemp, almond) will also do.

Sweetener

Don't limit yourself to white sugar, though it is often used. Experiment with the caramelized notes from brown sugar, the more complex slight acidity of honey, or the healthy sweetness of agave.