Chai is an integral part of life in India and simply translates to ‘Tea’ in Hindi. Calling it ‘Chai tea’ is considered redundant. In India, ‘Chaiwallahs’ (tea vendors) are present at street corners brewing basic black tea with spices.
500 Mile Chai
The tale of ‘500 Mile Chai’ originates from the many late night truck drivers stopping at small Chai stands ‘Dhabas’ on the highway and asking for really strong, sweet Chai to help them drive long distances (in a humorous tone – ‘for another 500 miles’).
Choice of the Leaf
The grade of tea commonly used for Chai is known as ‘Cut, Tear and Curl (CTC)’, representing a heavily rolled leaf pellet with very low moisture content. It is ideal for boiling, which is the traditional way to make Chai.
Once the leaf has been optimally boiled, adding milk and sugar provides a delightful ‘Golden Glow’.
We hand blend the black tea with organic spices – ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.
Chaiwallahs in India offer chai in simple kettles and small tapered glasses. ‘Kasoras’ (Chai Cups) made of low fired clay are also famous for imparting a distinct ‘Earthiness’ to the brew. After drinking, people will typically throw away the kasoras.
Flavor Profile: Strong, malty, spicy.