We buy all our tea at Kali Tengah in the Weimarstraat. Before I started the business, I visited them and made a tea list of all the tea I wanted to sell in BitterSweetz. I presented this to Marnix from Kali Tengah and he immediately said that it was a nice list, but that is not the way to buy tea for the business. Everything must be tasted by yourself or you will not know what you are selling. That sounds logical of course and I had prepared a nice list based on the nice tea names I saw. So charge of plans. I sat down at the table and there we went. Tasting tea after tea and of course also all my tea chosen by name. It turned out that I had chosen some sort of the same line, which is just not smart, so I let Marnix, the real tea connoisseur, advise me.
I believe I have been there for 2 hours, all the time was taken to come to one right choice. And what a delicious tea we have, though I say so myself. One of the teas is Chai tea. Perfect for drinking all year round but with extra warmth in the wet autumn and cold winter months.
Chai tea, chai tea, chai, çay, in some countries the word chai means tea alone. That can sometimes be confusing because here we quickly make the association with that wonderfully scented warm stuff; Indian hot herbal tea.
What is Chai tea?
Chai tea is a sweet and spicy tea known for its fragrant aroma. Chai tea is made from a combination of black tea, ginger and other spices. The most popular spices are cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper and cloves, although star anise, coriander seeds and peppercorns are another popular option.
Unlike regular tea brewed with water, chai tea is traditionally brewed using both hot water and hot milk and optionally sugar or other sweetener.
Where is it from?
Chai tea has its origins in India. Every region has its own chai, with a specific mixture of herbs and spices. The basis of chai tea is black tea and milk. In India they do not drink tea with milk, but milk with tea. The chai latte, as we know chai tea of milk here, is the standard drink that is drunk everywhere and always. The herbs are boiled in the milk. We show you how to make chai tea yourself, which you can drink with water, but of course also with milk or almond milk. I find this chai melange super tasty in a cup of hot water.
How is it made?
There is no fixed chaos mixture for Indian tea. There are a number of solid ingredients: strong black tea, sweetener, milk of your choice, spices, the most common are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, pepper, but other herbs can also be added to your inspiration.
an example recipe:
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons ginger – dried
10 grains of black pepper
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons of black tea – loose
1 star anise
That’s how you make it
chop the cinnamon and the star anise into small pieces with a knife
crush the peppercorns, cardamom and cloves in a mortar
finely chop the ginger and combine with the rest of the ingredients in a container that you can close well
put 1 teaspoon of the chai tea blend in a tea egg or tea bag and let it soak in hot, boiled water for 10 minutes
keep the chai tea in a dry place
Is Chai Tea healthy?
Because there are many different herbs and spices in Chai tea, this tea is certainly healthy (and especially tasty) to drink.
For example, it can help improve heart health: Chai tea contains cinnamon and black tea, both of which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, studies are needed that directly investigate the effects of chai tea.
Chai Tea can improve blood sugar: The cinnamon and ginger found in chai tea can increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar. However, it is best to avoid the sweetened store bought varieties.
It can reduce nausea and improve digestion: The chai tea ingredients ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cloves can help reduce nausea, prevent bacterial infections and support good digestion.
Now I am a tea lover myself and I love a large tea glass of Chai Tea in no time at all. Many friends and acquaintances of mine are annoyed by my habit of using a tea bag several times or letting it hang in my glass all day long. I love this way of drinking tea, even if it has already become cold and with the Chai Tea I find the taste even better when the bag is used for the second time. So you will always see me with one already used tea bag.
The Chai Tea that we serve is the regular Chai, the herbs and spices in a tea bag infused with water. You can also go for the Chai Latte, then replace the water with the milk of your choice. Both options delicious to drink.