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Good morning, tea friends! I am coming to you today not only to wish you a productive and lovely week but also to wish you a very happy National Chai Day! Yup, you read that right! Today is one of our favorite days here at Good Life Tea and because we are certainly celebrating, we think you should be too. In this blog post, I’m going to detail a little history and information about chai teas as a whole, then go on to tell you about the different varieties that we offer and why you should order them in honor of National Chai Day!
If you are unfamiliar with chai teas, well then, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you. Chai teas, if you can believe it, are thought to date all the way back 5,000 years to the region that is now known as India. Folklore suggests that during this time, a king was in search of a beverage for healing which he ordered be made in the medicinal field of Ayurveda. Ayurveda, for those unfamiliar, is the use of herbs and spices for remedy and therapeutics. When making this new and innovative beverage for the time, curators included things like ginger and black pepper (thought to help with digestion), clove (for pain relief), cardamom (a mood elevator), cinnamon (for increased circulation and respiratory function), or star anise (for bad breathe, haha!). Surprisingly to tea savants like ourselves, tea was not even included in these first cups of chai! Although, as the drink became more and more popular, various other herbs and spices were included and now, almost all chais include a tea component to them.
Nowadays, when you encounter a chai drink the following are likely suspects for components. First, you will find a tea, usually black, but as you'll see below, this is not always the case. You then will most times, unless specifically denoted that you prefer otherwise, encounter a sweetener. Most often we hear these delicious drinks to be made with sugar, honey, or agave but there is certainly variety to be found here, as well. Next you will see a milk component. Nowadays, as there is increased aversion to lactose, this may be a soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk, but a creamy component is almost always present. Lastly, within a chai drink, you will always find a variety of herbs and spice. Some of the common ones we have mentioned above, but because chai has become such a widespread beverage, so many different assortments have arisen. Below I'll detail each of the chai teas that we have available at Good Life tea and their specific components!
Let's start with our most popular chai variety, our Heaven Sent Chai. Heaven Sent Chai has a base black tea that is cardamon infused. Atop this base you will find the layers of clove, ginger, cinnamon, more cardamom, and finally, black pepper. Sweet heat is the name of the game here. You will taste sweet notes in the ginger and cinnamon, but on the backend of the sip the clove, cardamom, and black pepper really come to light, and leave you with a tingle on your tongue. Our loyal angels to Heaven Sent Chai regularly tell us that they enjoy this drink with milk or cream. Some also say that a little extra sprinkle of cinnamon atop is just the perfect finish! I highly recommend this tea as fall sets in. It is the perfect tea to sip while you curl up in your favorite hoodie lakeside, or even better yet, fireside.
Speaking of fireside, our next chai tea to mention is our Fireside Chai! This is our rooibos tea version of chai. Instead of a black tea base, this unexpected blend implores a red leaf rooibos base. If you already of fan of rooibos teas, we highly recommend this tea as it keeps with the caffeine free draw of all rooibos teas, but adds in the spicy variety of chai. The spices that you will see in this chai variation are the refined combination of cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, and nutmeg. Rooibos already implores a flavor profile of its own that certainly is present, and the flavors that are added with the spices only heighten this unique and beautiful flavor. I particularly love the addition of nutmeg within this tea. It reminds me of the holiday season that is not so far away!
Finally, we have our Vanilla Chai tea. This might be my personal favorite of the chai tea blends as I am already partial to vanilla flavors. In this tea, you will find again, a base black tea that is layered with the traditional chai spices of cinnamon and cardamom, and then neutralized and highlighted with vanilla. I love this tea as a bit of an afternoon pick me up with it's mild caffeine content and spicy flavor profile to wake up both my palette and my motivation! The spicy profile present from the cardamom gives me that extra little "umph!" for the afternoon that I so often need, with the calming flavors of vanilla reminding me "you're almost there!".
If you are looking for a little spice in your life, think about trying one of our chai teas today. Celebrate National Chai Day with us! If you do partake in this celebration, let us know which tea you chose to go with, why, and how you liked it! We also want to know if you made your own special beverage and what you added to do so! I would love to do a feature on any delicious drinks you have come up with on your own that include our chai teas. I can only hope that we get some emails or reviews from you all saying "my, oh my, I love me some chai!". Happy sipping and talk soon! - Kaytea :)
P.S. Lately around the shop we have heard and seen an increased interest in our cast iron teapots and sets! See just one example below and then take a look at all of our options here!