What is Chai?

Chai is a generic word for tea in India. It’s the Indian preparation of tea using brewed black tea with milk, sugar and spices. Also sometimes referred to as Masala Chai, where “masala” is an aromatic blend of spices and herbs. Over the years, Chai has become an integral part of India’s culture. Throughout India, enterprising young chai wallahs sell steaming glasses of chai in crowded railway platforms, shopping bazaars and every nook and corner of the country, helping millions of people get through their day.

Tea India sourcing

Ingredients & Benefits

Chai is a staple in every household in India and every household has it’s own recipe for chai. So there’s no one right way to make chai. But a typical masala chai has black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and sugar mixed with water and whole milk. Each ingredient, when used correctly, plays a vital role in crafting the perfect cup of chai.

Second Flush Assam Tea harvested in the month of May and June in India is the best black tea for Chai. Fresh tea leaves are taken through a process called CTC (Crush Tear Curl) where leaves are processed through a series of rollers. The rolled tea leaves are then oxidized, dried, sorted and packed. The process of oxidation creates two distinct antioxidants for black tea- Theaflavins and Thearubigins. A term you’ll often hear with Black Tea is Orange Pekoe. Orange Pekoe is leaf grade teas that denotes a quality product.

Ginger adds a nice spicy flavor and warm feel to your chai. Ginger is a popular root used in Indian foods and beverages. In Indian tradition, ginger is known to help with digestion and build the immune system.

Green Cardamom pods, lightly crushed, add a nice aroma and flavor to your chai. Cardamom has a warm, strong flavor with notes of Eucalyptus and Mint. Like Ginger, Cardamom is also known to aid with digestion and improve the immune system.

Cinnamon with it’s beautiful aroma adds a distinct sweet and spicy flavor to your chai. You can use cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon powder. Cinnamon is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Black Pepper adds a sharp, penetrating aroma with hot and biting taste. Some research shows that black pepper may help with better metabolism and digestion.

Cloves add a musky and warming flavor to your chai. Like most other ingredients, cloves also help with digestion but are also known to have some pain relieving properties.

Whole milk is best for a perfect cup of chai. If you have dietary restrictions, you can also use low fat or fat free milk. For our vegan friends, soymilk, cashew milk, almond milk, or coconut milk can work too.

Sugar adds sweetness and mouthfeel to your chai. If you have dietary restrictions, feel free to use a zero-calorie sweetener of your preference.

We recommend using spring water or filtered water. This brings out the true flavor of tea and spices, making a perfect cup of chai.

  • Black Tea

    Second Flush Assam Tea harvested in the month of May and June in India is the best black tea for Chai. Fresh tea leaves are taken through a process called CTC (Crush Tear Curl) where leaves are processed through a series of rollers. The rolled tea leaves are then oxidized, dried, sorted and packed. The process of oxidation creates two distinct antioxidants for black tea- Theaflavins and Thearubigins. A term you’ll often hear with Black Tea is Orange Pekoe. Orange Pekoe is leaf grade teas that denotes a quality product.

  • Ginger

    Ginger adds a nice spicy flavor and warm feel to your chai. Ginger is a popular root used in Indian foods and beverages. In Indian tradition, ginger is known to help with digestion and build the immune system.

  • Cardamom

    Green Cardamom pods, lightly crushed, add a nice aroma and flavor to your chai. Cardamom has a warm, strong flavor with notes of Eucalyptus and Mint. Like Ginger, Cardamom is also known to aid with digestion and improve the immune system.

  • Cinnamon

    Cinnamon with it’s beautiful aroma adds a distinct sweet and spicy flavor to your chai. You can use cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon powder. Cinnamon is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Black Pepper

    Black Pepper adds a sharp, penetrating aroma with hot and biting taste. Some research shows that black pepper may help with better metabolism and digestion.

  • Cloves

    Cloves add a musky and warming flavor to your chai. Like most other ingredients, cloves also help with digestion but are also known to have some pain relieving properties.

  • Whole Milk

    Whole milk is best for a perfect cup of chai. If you have dietary restrictions, you can also use low fat or fat free milk. For our vegan friends, soymilk, cashew milk, almond milk, or coconut milk can work too.

  • Organic Raw Sugar

    Sugar adds sweetness and mouthfeel to your chai. If you have dietary restrictions, feel free to use a zero-calorie sweetener of your preference.

  • Water

    We recommend using spring water or filtered water. This brings out the true flavor of tea and spices, making a perfect cup of chai.

How to Choose the Right Black Tea

Identifying the best quality tea takes a trained eye, a precise nose and a refined palette. Below are four important characteristics that are essential in every cup of tea. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that all our tea have these four attributes.

Mamri, Texture & Appearance

To identify this, look for an even grainy tea with good bloom (shine) on the leaf. The leaves should have a nice sheen without appearing too shiny.

Kadak, Strength

Simply put, Kadak is the strength of the tea. Many refer to teas which come from the Assam region to be as strong as the rhinos native to the area, and we agree.

Mitas:

The best teas are well balanced in flavor, mouthfeel and richness and do not require any additions.

Kesari, Color

Once milk is added, your tea should take on a golden, saffron-like Kesari color.

1

Gather all the ingredients: Black Tea (level teaspoon), Sugar (as desired), ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper (a pinch of each to taste).

2

Grind all the spices together

3

Boil Water

4

Just before the water comes to a rolling boil, add the tea leaves and the ground spices and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes

5

Then add Milk and sugar and let is simmer for another 2-3 minutes

6

Use a strainer and pour into cup and relax and enjoy!

Note

We understand that this may seem like a little bit of work but once you get a hang of it, it will be a breeze. What’s important is that you and your family will be able to enjoy an amazing cup of chai everyday.

Instant Chais

Our instant chai lattes deliver the authentic taste you love by just adding hot water.  Made with real milk, tea & spices and free of artificial flavors or preservatives. Chai Moments is available in Masala, Cardamom, Ginger, and Milk Tea varieties.

Loose Teas

Our loose black tea offers a strong, full-bodied and flavorful cup fit for sipping straight, mixing with sugar and a splash of milk, or using as a base for authentic Indian masala chai.

Tea Bags

A bold and rich blend of tea in a convenient tea bag format, packed in foil for freshness.  Great option for a single cup of tea or can be added right to boiling water to make a pot.  With 4 natural flavors to choose from, these blends will bring family & friends together.