All About Chai

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There seems to be a bit of confusion and mystery surrounding chai. Many people come into the store asking for “masala chai”, which is the India word for what us Westerners know as Chai. In India, chai literally means tea whereas masala chai means spiced blend tea.

Aside being loaded with heaps of health benefits (read here: 7 Reasons to order Chai), it actually tastes amazing. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting down to a nice warming cup of chai!

And yes, we sell chai. Not just one – but 8 different sorts. Yes EIGHT!

Here are our blends:

Chai Black – blend of black tea with cinnamon quills, cloves, cardamom pods and ginger.

Chai Vanilla – As above but infused with natural vanilla which gives it an added sweetness.

Chai Chocolate – As with Chai Black but infused with chocolate.

Chai Chilli – As with Chai Black but with a warming hint of chilli

Chai Sencha – green tea, oolong tea, cinnamon cloves, cardamom pods & ginger.

Dandelion Chai (organic, caffeine free) – roasted dandelion root, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, chicory, nutmeg, coriander, cardamom, fennel and ginger.

Chai Rooibos (caffeine free) – Rooibos leaf, fennel, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves

Chai Turmeric – (organic, caffeine free) turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

HOW TO MAKE CHAI:

 

There are a few ways to brew chai and it is even more confusing when you visit a cafe which might use a chai powder or syrup to make their chai.

  1. Chai Tea (easy method)

Boil the jug and get your teapot or infuser and tea ready. Place 1 teaspoon (or perfect scoop) per 250ml of water in your infuser and add the boiling water. Brew or steep for 5-7 minutes – the longer you brew, the more the flavours will develop. Once brewed you can add milk and honey, sugar or other sweetener as required!

For Chai Sencha (green tea chai): Follow the same steps for the black chai, but only use 80-85C water. If you don’t have a temperature controlled jug, just bring your jug to the boil and leave sit for a couple minutes to come off the boil. Using 80 degree water ensures the green tea remains fresh tasting, not bitter. It also preserves the anti oxidants and health benefits that come with green tea. We do not recommend adding milk to green tea, but you can add honey as desired.

  1. Chai Tea (stovetop method)

This is the more traditional way to make chai and takes a little longer than standard brewing time, but it’s worth it! Simmering the spices allows their flavours to really come alive. You can make chai in this way with all our chai except for chai sencha, (milk and green tea don’t really suit each other!)

You can use any sort of milk for this, whether it’s cow’s milk, soy, any nut milks but my favourite is almond milk. If you prefer a less milky chai you can use a combination of water and milk. Place your tea and milk into a saucepan. Roughly use 1-2 tsp per 250ml but if you like a stronger tasting chai you can add more tea. Bring to boil and then turn down to a low simmer around 10 minutes. No infuser is used which really allows the water to flow around the teas and spices for lots of flavour! You will need to strain the tea before drinking (there’s nothing worse than chomping down on a piece of cardamom) and you can add sweetener as well (I like to use our Sweet Tea honey from the Urunga Honey Place).

  1. Chai Latte – with steamed milk

The secret is out! This is how we make our chai lattes in-store. If you have a steam wand or coffee machine at home you can use this method as well.

Place the required amount of tea straight in a tea infuser or tea ball. Pour in boiling water, just enough to cover the leaves. Steam your milk in another jug and pour the milk over the tea leaves. Infuse at least 5 minutes (longer if you like a stronger taste) then pour into a mug and add froth. You can add sweetener and sprinkle top with cinnamon.

 

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