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Chai Tea
Chai, pronounced with a chocolaty ch and rhyming with sky is a generic word for tea in many parts of the world. It is a sweet, exotic mixture of milk, tea, and spices. Chai history is over 5000 years old, with its creators enjoying it both hot and cold. Some stories say it was invented by a royal king in the ancient courts of India & Siam who protected the recipe as one of his treasures.

However, its roots can be traced unmistakably to the Hindu natural healing system called ayurveda in which combinations of spices, herbs and tea were used for their health benefits in serving as a digestive aid. Since its beginning, chai recipes have varied, and today, they differ by region, neighborhood and even by household. Recipes are handed down from generation to generation, so that having a cup of chai does not simply mean enjoying a relaxing beverage, but also experiencing a family tradition.

India traded China Buddhism for tea, called "chai" in Sanskrit and Hindi, more than 2,500 years ago.

Long ago the royal families of India were cared for by natural healing doctors called vaidyas. The vaidya's task was to oversee the health and well-being of each family member. Using the vast pharmacopia of Nature's herbs, flowers, and spices, the vaidya would prepare special wholesome foods and beverages in harmony with each person's constitution. Some of these recipes became family traditions and have been handed down for the benefit of future generations. Chai, as we have come to know it today in the West, has its roots in this great Ayurvedic healing tradition of India.

Now the world's most popular beverage after water, "tea" properly refers only to the infusion of the leaves of Camellia sinensis, hence "chai" could refer to any and all such preparations. In modern India, tea is usually boiled up very strong with milk and lots of sugar, as spices and honey are comparatively expensive, honey so much so that it is sometimes consumed straight as a dessert. Ayurveda is an ancient system of Indian medicine which thousands of years ago codified the use of certain foods and spices to restore and maintain the balance of different kinds of physiological constitutions. According to ancient practice, honey is the "Perfection of the Sweet,"the best of vehicles for preserving and delivering therapeutic and rejuvenating substances. It also balances the pungent and virilizing properties of the spices in Chai.

Chai doesn't refer to a kind of tea, but a style of preparing it. Chai is usually served with a milk or cream, and is heavily spiced. Common spices in chai are cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and allspice

Most imbibers prefer black tea or a mixture of green and black tea with Chai. Most of our Chai Teas are blended with bleck tea and traditional indian spices unless otherwise specified. A delicious alternative of reduced caffeine is our Green Kashmiri Chai Tea Green Tea with Indian Chai Spices, Cinnamon & Almond. If you are avoiding caffeine, de-caffeinated teas work well, as do roasted grain teas like Mu Zest. Chamomile and Mint Chai also has its adherents. A small, but vocal, minority likes Chai in coffee.


People drink chai socially and for its health benefits. Drinking chai is similar to how many in the US have a cup of morning coffee to start their day. Many people of India and Asia have a cup in the morning as a group, helping create a sense of community. It is also a welcoming beverage. An invitation to someone's home will include a cup of the family's chai. Serving chai is like offering a cup of a family tradition.

The combination of spices, herbs and tea has a number of health benefits as well. Enjoying a soothing cup of chai is a great relaxation aid and is often thought of as a stress reliever.

In addition, chai is especially known for its ability to settle an upset stomach and aid with digestion, particularly when the mixture contains fennel, a well-known digestive agent. Using a green tea base means that a cup of chai contains polyphenols which are antioxidants known to be cancer fighting agents. Many in the US now recognize green tea's salubrious properties and are even interested in trying it specifically for that reason.

Also, for those interested in keeping down their caffeine intake, chai, being tea based, naturally has less caffeine than the equivalent serving of coffee.


Tea Leaves - Camellia sinesis - A recent CNN article cites the latest science that shows tea is full of healthy substances, including antioxidants, that may help prevent everything from heart disease to strokes to cancer.

Cardamom - Stimulates the mind and gives clarity. Cardamom reduces the air and water elements increases appetite and soothes the mucous membrane. It relieves gas and heartburn caused by garlic and onion. A tea made from cardamom is valuable in headache caused by indigestion. It is used as a remedy for treating depression and impotency. The herb is useful is sexual dysfunction like impotency and premature ejaculation. It is also a great breath freshener; cardamom and cinnamon cures pharyngitis, sore throat, relaxes uvula and hoarseness during the infective stages of influenza.

Cinnamon - Cinnamonum zeylanicum -This herb is a stimulant to other herbs enabling them to work faster. It is very warming and stimulating to entire body. Lowers high blood pressure. Fights bacteria’s, staphylococcus aureus, E.coli and thrush. Contains salicylates, which helps reduce pains and fevers. Also contains catechins that help to relieve nausea and indigestion, gas and heartburn. Also controls diarrhea and eases menstrual cramps.

Cloves - Eugenia caryophyllus - Derived from dried, unopened buds of a dense evergreen. Believed to invigorate & restore, & helps generate heat in the body, useful during the cold/flu season.

Ginger - Zingiberaceae - Root is believed to strengthen and heal the digestive and respiratory system, as well as to fight off colds/flu. Removes congestion, soothes sore throats, and relieves body aches. Recent studies have shown it to be effective in preventing motion sickness. Well known as a pleasant tasting cooking spice, it is not so widely known that ginger has been used for thousands of years, worldwide, for its numerous potent healing benefits. Ginger is an especially wonderful ally because its healing benefits are particular to so many of our daily health concerns. Probably best known as a superb digestive aid and nausea reliever, ginger also helps heal ulcers, supports cardiovascular health, reduces pain and inflammation, and speeds recovery from colds and flu while reducing fevers. Additionally, the National Cancer Institute has recently identified ginger as one of the top ten foods offering the highest levels of anti-cancer activity. Most importantly, ginger accomplishes all these without the side effects associated with drugs. It supports healthy digestion, offering 180 times the protein digesting power of papaya, Soothes digestion, contains at least 12 anti-aging constituents that inactivate free radicals, supports blood platelet health and cardiovascular function, reduces inflammation, enhances natural resistance for cold and flu, has twenty-two known constituents inhibit inflammatory 5-lipoxygenase, supports prostate health, may increase absorption and utilization of other nutrients and herbs by as much as 2 to 2.5 times.

Nutmeg - Myristica fragrans - Seed comes from the nutmeg tree, a tropical evergreen. It adds a rich flavor and helps moisten the airways and reduce the drying of the mucous membranes and the throat that is often associated with smoking.

Pepper - Imparts an underlying warmth to the body. Black pepper (Piper nigrum)stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body's production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn or indigestion, or it may pass into the intestines, where it can be used as a food source for unfriendly gut bacteria, whose activities produce gas, irritation, and/or diarrhea or constipation.

Black pepper has long been recognized as a carminitive, (a substance that helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas), a property likely due to its beneficial effect of stimulating hydrochloric acid production. In addition, black pepper has diaphoretic (promotes sweating), and diuretic (promotes urination) properties.

Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects--yet another way in which this wonderful seasoning promotes the health of the digestive tract. And not only does black pepper help you derive the most benefit from your food, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.

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