Traditional chai prepared with black tea and spices such as cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger and black peppercorn originates in India. The noun chai (rhymes with pie) by itself refers to the beverage known as tea, although here in the US we appropriated this word to describe the spice blend added to tea. So when you go into your favorite coffee shop and order a Chai Tea Latte, you’re really ordering a tea-tea latte. A little redundant, I know.
Chai is a traditional blend of milk, tea and spice common throughout India where chai is a part of daily life. A pot is made first thing in the morning and guests are welcomed with a fragrant cup immediately upon arrival. The type of spices and quantity used in each household varies, as each family has their own favorite recipe and preparation methods change by region.
Octavia Tea offers eight different chai blends to tempt you. Every tea from Octavia Tea is blended from all natural ingredients. Four of their chai blends are certified organic and each chai has its own subtly different spice blend. Click on the tea name to see how to purchase each one.
Bombay Chai – This deep, dark and delightful black tea blend is a coming together of exotic spices and rich black tea used as a healing tonic in Ayurvedic (alternative) medicine. To brew a decadent spiced chai latte, gently simmer 1 heaping tablespoon of Octavia loose leave Bombay Chai, 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup milk for 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste.
Café Spice Chai – Octavia’s most traditional chai. A wonderfully balanced blend of black tea and spices including: crushed cinnamon, warm vanilla, a hint of ginger, cardamom and clove calls to mind the aromatic delights of an Indian spice market. Wonderful enjoyed as a sipping tea or brewed stronger adding a little milk and honey for a more traditional chai.
Chocolate Chai – A mesmerizing harmony of antioxidant-rich black tea, exotic spices, warming vanilla bean and rich cocoa shells. Add a touch of milk and honey to enhance the velvety, dessert-like character of this aromatic, comforting blend. To brew a decadent, spiced chai latte, gently simmer 1 heaping tablespoon of chai tea, ¾ cup water, and ¼ cup milk for 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste.
Orange Spice Chai (formerly called Harvest Orange Spice) – The aroma of this black tea brings to mind all of the elements of a pie baked fresh on a brisk autumn evening. Clementine orange, married with spicy cardamom, clove, cinnamon and ginger in this rich, flavorful, spiced chai blend. Enjoy this blend gently sweetened with a little honey or sugar and a touch of milk.
White Chai – Nourish your spirit! Swirls of sweet cinnamon, sultry spice and playful pink peppercorns dance with white tea’s delicate, honey-like nectar. This whimsical concoction is inspired by the healing herbs used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine(alternative medicine practices) and blended with an antioxidant-rich white tea base, giving it a warm, soothing character. The delicate nature of white tea is best enjoyed by brewing strong & without milk.
Vanilla Chai – A combination of warming spices and rich vanilla conjures the aromatic delights of a European café. Alluring and aromatic, this blend of antioxidant-rich black tea, rooibos, cinnamon and vanilla bean yields a decadent, velvety, dessert-like infusion and is lower in caffeine than traditional a chai blended with only black tea. This tea is delicious on its own or brewed strong with just a touch of milk and honey.
Spiced Chai Maté – My go-to tea for afternoon sipping. This spicy mix is swirling with cinnamon and spice, each sip of this aromatic tea will lift the spirit and inspire the mind. Native to the South American rain-forests, yerba maté is said to improve mood, enhance mental clarity and aid weight-loss. Because this blend is made with a base of yerba maté, it has a lighter, earthier flavor than a traditional chai tea made with a black tea base, and may be overwhelmed by the addition of milk. However, a touch of honey or agave compliments the gentle flavors quite nicely.
Sweet Cinnamon Chai – This wonderfully rich blend of cinnamon and sweet spices is 100% caffeine free and based on a classic, Ayurvedic formula to promote longevity, digestion, balance and circulation. Different from traditional chai, this all herbal blend can be enjoyed anytime with just a touch of sweetener like honey or agave. The subtle flavor of this blend may be overwhelmed by the addition of milk so, try it first without.
Why drink chai? Beyond the fact that the creamy, spicy drink known as chai tastes fantastic, the spicy nature of any chai affords so much more flavor and body to what would normally be just a cup of tea. Chai can be very versatile; hot chai is wonderful but, I also love the flavor of chai served cold over ice in the summer. No wonder the Indian people developed so many blends to delight their senses as well as ours.
If you’d like to purchase any or all of these tasty teas, go to Octavia Tea’s website HERE or look for Octavia teas in specialty shops.
This and my other post this month are part of an A-2-Z Writing Challenge for the month of April where you write every day except Sundays with the next letter of the alphabet.