What is Chai?

Michael Elligett

Chai Latte

You’ve probably heard of it and seen it in every café, but what actually is chai and why are there so many varieties of it? Chai originates thousands of years back to India, where chai is a way of life just as your typical cup of coffee or English Breakfast tea is here in Australia. Chai tea is known for its hints of cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and ginger mixed with black Ceylon tea leaves. Typically, milk is added along with sugar or honey to sweeten the spices.

 Chai is the Hindi word for tea and was first drunk as a medicinal tea to soothe aches and elevate moods. There are so many different types of chai appearing, one of the more traditional variations is to use green tea instead of black tea leaves to give it a more bitter flavour. We have slowly westernised chai and started to create chai powders, which is what you’ll likely get if you order a chai latte from a café. These mixes generally have milk powder and vanilla added so that they are sweet and only need to be added to hot milk to create a creamy rich drink. Now there are chai latte powders with green tea matcha, ginger and honey to provide a range of different flavoured chai. No matter where you travel though, the basic chai flavours will remain the same, those spicy notes that warm you up from the inside out. Any type of chai you have seen in a café, your friend's house or off a side cart in India, we are sure to stock on our website with brands such as Arkadia and Bondi Chai producing the best quality chai available.

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