The how, what, and why of our Chai!
Variety is the spice of life – and that is literally true with Rooibos Chai. It’s Rooibos as we know it…but infused with warming and aromatic spices to give your taste buds a delightful surprise. If you want to try some you can order it here. You won’t be disappointed, especially as we’re offering a 15% discount! If, on the other hand, you are feeling a bit cautious, and have a few questions about what Chai is, where it comes from, and how best to enjoy it, then read on.
What is Chai?
Chai is just regular black or green tea with some spices added. Chai is actually the Hindi word for tea. In India, however, they invariably like their tea mixed with spices – so spicy tea has become known around the world as Chai. Technically speaking, tea with added spices should be referred to as Chai Masala (Masala being the Hindi word for mix). However, seeing as this is how everyone takes their tea in India, the Masala half of the term has become somewhat redundant.
Blends of Chai in India vary from region to region – and every family will favor their own slightly different mix. In Kashmir, people will sometimes use green tea instead of black tea, and almonds are often added along with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and sometimes saffron. In Bhopal, Chai might have a pinch of salt in it. In Western India cloves and black pepper are avoided but lemongrass is often included. In the winter fresh ginger may be added and this brew is a popular cold remedy and decongestant.
What is in Rooibos Rocks Chai?
Rooibos Rocks Chai is regular Original Rooibos tea with a fragrant blend of star anise, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and a pop of pepper (all of which are organic). It is an enticing combination - incredibly smooth, gentle, sweet and slightly nutty taste of Rooibos with an aromatic twist of spicy tanginess that’s pleasurably heart-warming – think of it as a hug in a mug!
What’s the recommended way to prepare and serve Rooibos Chai?
Indian Chai is usually prepared by simmering loose leaf tea in water mixed with milk and sugar. The method varies according to taste or local custom. Some households may combine all the ingredients at the start, bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately strain and serve. Others may leave the mixture simmering for a longer time or begin by bringing the tea leaves to a boil and only add the spices toward the end (or vice versa). Frankly there is no right or wrong way to do it and the possible combinations of ingredients and techniques is limitless!
What is Chai Latte?
It is a drink made popular by western coffee house chains. As the name suggests it is Chai served with hot milk – but that’s the way it is usually served in India anyway. Having said that, the western version also tends to have more spice and sugar than would be added in places like Tamil Nadu or Gujarat. Many North Americans like this highly flavored and sweetened version but to Indian palates it can seem a bit overpowering.
We like to prepare Rooibos Rocks Chai Latte by brewing a couple of tea bags in a small cup of water that’s just boiled then letting it steep until we have a strong concentrate. Then we add hot milk (you can froth it if you like) to our concentrate using a 1:1 ratio to ensure that the tea flavor stays strong. Depending on your personal taste you might add sugar, honey or maple syrup. Being caffeine-free Rooibos Rocks Chai, served in this way, makes a lovely calming bedtime drink.
Any other questions?
There’s a lot more we could tell you about our Rooibos Rocks Chai but we don’t like to let our blog posts get too long. If you have other questions about this deliciously exotic way of enjoying Rooibos Rocks the FAQ section of our website may help – or get in touch with us personally.