Most English-speakers think of Chai as a warm, milky and spicy beverage, however the word—chai—is simply the Hindi word for tea. What we’re actually thinking of is a strong black tea, usually an Assam, which is flavored with special spices. One of South Asia’s most favorite drinks—a delicious one-pot simmer of loose leaf tea, spices and sweetener.
The blend of spices varies by household and/or region, but generally includes some combination of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, almonds, Fennel and vanilla. Masala Chai is the most popular blend, consisting of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. Certain spices are more popular by regions:Almonds in Kashmiri, black pepper in Bombay, etc. When thoroughly blended and steeped to satisfaction, the exotic brew is strained into serving cups.
Traditionally, the variations of Chai used Assam as the base tea (often using BOP or a broken grade for more intense tea flavor). Now, we are seeing Green and Herbal Chai teas becoming increasingly popular. The lower levels of caffeine in the Greens or the caffeine-free herbals make these Chai teas perfect for late afternoon or just before bed.
Enjoyed with or without milk; try soy or rice substitutes for additional flavor
Experiment with different spice combinations at different times of the year or even different times of the day. Simple Chai recipe: 2 C. milk, 1 tbsp. Chai. Boil covered, on a very low simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste.
WHAT WE ARE SIPPING RIGHT NOW...
A special blend we produce for Grindcore House Vegan Coffee House. A special, Ayurvedic chai blend straight from India. Centuries-old blend of cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, ginger, cloves, fennel, and rose petals. A smooth, complex and delicious chai. Stop in and have a cup at Grindcore House.
A classic Indian chai made with broken Assam...
The English began to encourage Indian factories to give their employees tea breaks. Originally tea was served "Engish style", steeped with a little milk and sugar, but soon vendors (known as chai wallahs) began to spice their drinks and add lots of sugar and milk to cut costs. The English were furious, but workers liked the drink, and that is how Chai Masala was born.
Add used tea leaves to your compost heap or use it as mulch for acid-loving plants.