Assam black tea, ginger root, cinnamon, green cardamom & vanilla.
Our interpretation of this classic Indian drink blends rich, flavorful Indian black tea with ginger root, cinnamon, green cardamom & vanilla. The brewed tea is very aromatic, with a flavor that is slightly sweet, strong, & penetrating, with lingering spice notes.
This tea is excellent plain or with milk (regular or evaporated) & sweetener. It is exceptional any time of day-as a rich morning cup, an enjoyable dessert tea, or as a special treat.
Chai is steeped in a rich history. The name “chai” is the Hindi word for “tea”, which was derived from “cha”, the Chinese word for “tea”. In this case, the Hindi term chai means a mix of spices steeped into a tea-like beverage. Recipes for chai vary across continents, cultures, towns & families. But the traditional ingredients of a spiced tea blend usually include black tea mixed with strong spices, like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger & black peppercorns. The spiced tea mixture is typically brewed strong with milk & sweetened with sugar or honey. However, the milky sweet tea treat we order in coffee & tea shops today has very little in common with the origins of Indian chai.
Legend has it that the origin of chai dates back more than 5,000 years, when a king in what is now India ordered a healing spiced beverage be created for use in Ayurveda, a traditional medicinal practice in which herbs & spices are used for healing. The heat from ginger & black pepper was believed to stimulate digestion; the antiseptic properties in cloves were thought to help relieve pain; cardamom was used as a mood elevator; cinnamon supported circulation & respiratory function; & star anise was known to freshen the breath.
As the healing beverage spread across India a wide variety of spices were used to prepare the drink, depending on the region of the continent or even the neighborhood where the beverage was being made.
Believe it or not, original versions of “chai”, or “spiced tea”, contained no actual Camellia sinensis tea leaves. Milk & sugar were also later additions to the famous drink. The addition of black tea leaves, milk & sugar were popularized thousands of years later (in the mid-1800s) when the Camellia sinensis assamica tea plant variety was discovered in India & cultivated by the British, who ruled continent at the time & had an insatiable desire for strong black tea with milk & sugar.
Our authentic Fair Trade & organic principles are still uncommon in the tea industry. We believe in trade that strengthens the autonomy of small farmer organizations, promotes among farmers a sense ownership & control over one’s business, encourages entrepreneurial attitudes & a risk-taking culture, strengthens & builds community & encourages debate & participatory decision making. We believe that “Fair Trade” must mean “small farmer” & our relationships reflect that.
Each of our producer partners is unique, with a storied history of ambition, struggle & success over the years. They have worked to set themselves apart in a historically oppressive industry.
4 oz. Handcrafted Organic Tea