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Black Tea 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 Masala Chai | Organic
Masala chai literally translates to spiced tea. There are as many different recipes as people making it. We blend this tea with a classic recipe so that it is spicy and full bodied.
Thumbnail of Vanilla Chai | Organic
Indian chai is typically made using a rich black tea, usually an Assam, and brewing it in heavy milk with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. The drink produces a warm soothing effect and engenders a wonderfully calming effect on the body. Vanilla adds a hint of creaminess - a fantastic addition. Brew this tea piping hot and scoop in some sugar to help open up the exotic flavor of this spicy blend. Just try and stop after one cup!
Thumbnail of Kama Sutra Chai
The Kama Sutra is a book on the science of love - Kama translates as desire, and Sutra means manual. In the spirit of sensuousness and discovery offered by the ancient text we offer this fabulous tea - a real mélange a spice and floral notes.
Thumbnail of Night of the Iguana Chai
To honor the complex themes of The Night of the Iguana, this is an equally complex chai. A full-bodied black Assam imparts the chai with a wonderful depth. Next, white chocolate, caramel, and a heady blend of spices from the Malabar Coast of India were added to the mix - sharp ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper.
Thumbnail of Rajasthani Chai
This chai blend has everything but the kitchen sink!
Thumbnail of Insta - Turmeric Chai
Just like hot cocoa, this Insta-Turmeric Chai is a great way to enjoy Turmeric Chai on the go. Brew it hot or cold! No need to worry about steep time; just scoop 2 tablespoons of the powder, add a cup of hot water, stir and you instantly have a great cup of pre-sweetened Turmeric Chai.
Thumbnail of Masala Insta - Chai
This Insta-Chai is an exotic blend of tea, spices, sugar, and milk. Blended to taste like a chai you would find served by the road-side tea stalls found in EVERY city/town/village in India. Just add a cup of hot water to 2 tablespoons of mix and stir.
Thumbnail of Insta - Ginger Chai
Spicy, decadent, and EASY! Just like hot cocoa, this Insta-Ginger Chai is a great way to enjoy Ginger Chai on the go. Brew it hot or cold! No need to worry about steep time; just scoop 2 tablespoons of the powder, add a cup of hot water, stir and you instantly have a great cup of pre-sweetened Ginger Chai.
Thumbnail of Insta - Cardamom Chai
Spicy, decadent, and EASY! Just like hot cocoa, this Insta-Cardamom Chai is a great way to enjoy chai on the go. Brew it hot or cold! No need to worry about steep time; just scoop 2 tablespoons of the powder, add a cup of hot water, stir and you instantly have a great cup of pre-sweetened Cardamom Chai.
Thumbnail of Insta - Vanilla Tea
Rich, decadent, and EASY! Just like hot cocoa, this Insta-Vanilla Tea is a great way to enjoy tea on the go. Brew it hot or cold! No need to worry about steep time; just scoop 2 tablespoons of the powder, add a cup of hot water, stir and you instantly have a great cup of pre-sweetened Vanilla Black Tea.

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, licorice, 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.