- Masala Chai Background
- Chai Tea Preparation
Drinking great chai is almost a religious experience. As the brew reaches all the corners of your body it fills you with a warm glow that you will want to experience again and again.
Masala Chai is an integral part of life in India. It is a strong, malty, spicy tea that is traditionally combined with milk and sugar. It can also be steeped as with any other tea. Here we offer you our version of Masala Chai made with organic South African rooibos and our own special blend of chai spices. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free, so you can enjoy your warming cup of chai at any time of day. In Southern Africa rooibos is referred to as "bush tea" and there is frequently no differentiation between this "bush tea" and regular tea.
Ingredients: Organic Natural Rooibos, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, vanilla bean, ginger, licorice root, cinnamon, fennel seed
Origin: Blended by A Thirst for Tea
Many of the spices used in masala chai are known to have health promoting and disease prevention properties in both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Among them are cardamom, ginger and licorice root.
Cardamom is a warm spice that originated in India. In Ayurveda it is used to improve digestion and is helpful in controlling flatulence and gas. Cardamom is known to improve blood circulation to the lungs and, in small quantities, can be used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis. Cardamom is a potent antioxidant and is a good source of minerals.
Ginger root is the most widely used and most available herbal remedy in the world. It is used to lower cholesterol, and for relief of nausea, colds, arthritis, allergies and asthma. It is also known to protect the digestive tract and liver against parasites and toxins.
Licorice Root is also one of the most widely used medicinal herb in the world today and it is the single most used herb in Chinese medicine. Today it is primarily used to treat coughs and colds and historically it has been used alleviate thirst and hunger and to improve stamina.
Cloves have antiseptic and germicidal properties that help fight infections, relieve digestive problems and arthritis pain. They also happen to have the highest antioxidant activity of any food. They also boost memory and blood circulation, and are beneficial for the heart, liver and stomach.
In many parts of India there is a saying that loosely translated as: "spiced chai…the tea that eats like a meal" - and in certain parts of India it's true. Traditional Indian chai is a heady mix of spice and tea. Chai recipes are handed down from generation to generation the way westerners pass on grandma's apple pie recipe. The tea is traditionally brewed by boiling milk, adding good thick black tea, various spices and then boiling it again. The resulting mixture is thick, spicy and incredibly full-bodied. If your spoon stands up in the cup, it's ready!
Ok, that might be a little over the top, but it's no exaggeration to say that drinking great chai is almost a religious experience. As the brew reaches all the corners of your body it fills you with a warm glow that you will want to experience again and again. Luckily, if you're in India, spicy fresh chai is available just about everywhere. Chai-sellers, known as Chai Wallahs sell their concoctions at roadside stalls, train stations, anywhere you can think of. The tea is served in small clay cups known as chullarhs that are smashed on the ground once the tea is finished.
Water Temperature: Boiling
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 2 tsp. (2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 5-7 minutes
Number of Infusions: 1
Our Masala Chai is good straight up or with warm milk (20%) and sugar. We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." However, leaving the tea leaves in the water will result in an over-infused, bitter tea. If you want a stronger cup of tea increase the amount of leaf rather than the steeping time. If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, strain all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot. We suggest that you experiment with time and quantity of leaves to find your personal taste preferences.