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Chai Tea

Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims

Chai

Chai means "tea" in Hindi and is derived from "cha", the Chinese word for "tea". Chai is simply a way of life in India. Almost everywhere you see people enjoying the sweet, spicy, milky drink. In the Western world, Chai is experienced as something exclusive and exotic. in India it is simply the standard way of preparing tea.

The base of chai is black tea. There are many variations of black tea, but Assam is most common in chai because of its strong, full-bodied flavour.

Chai can contain a number of different spices. Cardamom is the most common ingredient, followed by a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, star anise and cloves. Pepper, cilantro, nutmeg, and fennel are also used, but these are slightly less common.

Chai almost always contains milk, and that milk is usually whole. Plain white sugar is the most common sweetener for chai. Chai usually contains a good amount of sweetener.

As mentioned, the base of chai is traditionally a black tea. Over time, however, variations on the Chai theme have emerged. Today it is quite common to combine the chai herbs with other types of tea, such as green tea or rooibos.

Tea shop The Smallest House has many loose chai blends in stock. Ready to spice up your tea time?

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