Here's a scary barista confession: my boyfriend doesn't drink coffee. I know, I know, how can we possibly be together? Two reasons: he's a truly wonderful man and he makes a mean chai.
Chai. "Chai" You've heard the word before. Perhaps you're confused, having encountered both plain black tea and a creamy/spicy latte drink both of that name. What is the difference?
Well, the word "chai" simply means tea in many languages and is traced back to origins in Cantonese Chinese. So yes, when we say "chai tea" are we being ridiculous? Only in most every other language on earth. But that's beside the point because it's coloqial in English for "chai tea" to reference Masala Chai, a black tea with spices origionating in India. This raw tea with spices in hot water is a chai, however many places, including Sacred Grounds, also provide a Chai latte, which is equal parts chai concentrate and milk.
Now, contratry to understanding, chai concentrate is not simply Masala Chai and water. For instance, the chai concentrate we use, Tazo Chai, includes "WATER, BLACK TEA, BLACK PEPPER, GINGER, CARDAMOM, CINNAMON, CLOVES, STAR ANISE, NATURAL FLAVORS, CANE SUGAR, HONEY, GINGER JUICE, NATURAL FLAVORS, VANILLA EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID."-- that's the label.
And it's great in a coffeeshop setting where you don't have the time to make homemade chai. However, if you are over in India or Pakistan, chai comes in what we call the latte form- made with milk, and usually whole milk at that- for a truly decadent delight. Many different parts of the world have different mixes on this creamy chai, but the basic spices are black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves.
If you're interested in making your own chai concentrate to have on hand, check out this great link at the Prairie Homestead!
(photo compliments of the Prairie Homestead)
Origins: Great Lakes Tea and Spice Co.
March 23, 2014
May 1, 2013
Is There More Caffeine in Light or Dark Roast? (Hint: It’s Neither!)