FALL INTO CHAI
As the days get shorter and our mornings and evenings at bit cooler, a freshly cooked, steaming hot cup of Masala Chai warms us on the inside and brings back instant memories of the shimmering days of summer.
Chai tea originated in India but has now become an extremely popular North American beverage. The word chai translates to “tea” in Hindi, whereas, ‘Masala’ refers to the mix of spices. In India, many households have created their very own ‘Chai’ recipe. The secret to the best cup of chai lies in the combination of spices. A traditional Indian ‘Chai’ consists of Assamese black tea and a variation of the following spices – ginger root, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and sometimes star anise and fennel.
The colours, the fragrance and the unique flavours of all these spices have been an inspiration to the many chai blends we have created at Westholme Tea Company.
For our traditional Masala Chai, we went through several spice combinations before we settled on our current recipe. This one is as close as you can get to buying a steaming cup of freshly made chai from a chai wallah in India.
The exotic fragrance of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon combine perfectly in this black tea base. The black pepper and cloves add an exciting touch at the end.
If you prefer to savour all the exotic spices without any added caffeine, there are numerous herbal and non-caffeinated chai blends available as well. Our newest chai blend called Golden Chai is turmeric based with ginger root, cardamom, ceylon cinnamon, black pepper and cloves.
Most of our Chai blends can be prepared in either of two different methods – steeping, or the traditional boiling method.
For steeping, simply infuse one teaspoon of Chai per cup (8 ounces/235ml) of boiling water and steep 4 to 6 minutes (the longer infusion time is needed if you wish to add milk). Add milk and sweetener and enjoy.
To cook your chai, use the following method:
Use one heaping teaspoon of Chai per cup of water (8 ounces/235ml). Bring to full boil for three minutes. Add whole milk/milk alternative (in ratio of half milk to half water), bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste.
Sweetening your chai:
For raw sugar, add it after the milk returns to a boil, stir, and allow it to dissolve before serving. Honey (especially raw honey) should be added after the chai is completely finished. You can use stevia in the same manner.
For soy or rice milk, do not allow it to return to boil. Remove from heat just as the leaf and spices begin to re-circulate to the top of the pan. Most soy and rice milks will separate when boiled.
Golden Chai is not yet available online, however you can contact us to order.
Our fine selection of Masala Chai, Green Chai, Rooibos Chai, Nettle Chai and Mate Chai is available in our online store.
CLICK HERE to shop online.