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Making chai at home

You don’t need to be an auntie or a veteran chaiwallah to make a perfect cup of chai. All you need is our Masala Chai mix, your go-to dairy/non-dairy option and a playlist that hits all the right notes. 

Taste 

A cup of chai has a subtle, yet complex flavor profile. It’s equal parts sweet and spicy, as a result of the sugar and cinnamon mixing with spices such as cardamom, cloves and black pepper. It’s traditionally served piping hot but tastes delicious when poured over some ice. Watch this to see how people feel about iced vs. hot chai. 

To put it simply – it’s a spicy, sweet, cup of black tea with milk that can be consumed to start your day or as an after dinner treat. 

What to expect when making chai 

Making chai is a simple, meditative process that requires a stovetop, a pot and a strainer. The entire process should take you between 5-7 minutes and you’ll have to pay some attention while the liquid is boiling. It requires the same level of skill as making some instant ramen or mac and cheese, which is to say, it’s extremely easy. 

What you’ll need

Finding fresh spices like cardamom pods or the perfect cinnamon stick isn’t always quick or easy. That’s why we decided to create a Chai Mix that brings together organic Assam tea and fresh spices into an easy to use blend. 

Masala Chai recipe

1. Bring 1 cup water to simmer and add 3 tsp of Kolkata Chai Chai Mix
2. Grate or mince a piece of fresh ginger into the boil (optional)
3. Bring to a rolling boil brew for 3 minutes and add 1 cup milk (or alternative milk) of your choice
4. Bring to boil, turn off heat
5. Cover and steep for 3 minutes. Strain, add sugar as needed

Cheers!

How to make an iced chai

While India is a tropical country, drinking iced chai is not a common phenomenon. That being said, when starting Kolkata Chai we wanted to push the culture forward and one of our first experiments was making a really good iced chai. 

Three years later, we can confirm that our iced chai is our best selling item and our hunches about it were right the whole time. Add a little extra sweetener to bring out the flavor of the spices and you won’t be disappointed. 

Here’s our fan-favorite iced chai recipe. 

Oat milk Iced Chai Recipe

Ingredients

Kolkata Chai Mix (6 tsp or 12 g)

Water (2 cup or 16 fl oz) 

Ice 

Milk (oat milk or whole milk) 

Sugar or Sweetener 

Fine Mesh Strainer

Instructions 

1. Bring 2 cups (16 oz) water to simmer in a pot  

2. Add 6 tsp (~12 g) chai & spice mix 

3. Rolling boil brew for 3 mins 

4. Add 2 cups (16 oz) milk of your choice (whole, oat, etc) 

5. Bring to boil and turn off heat 

6. Cover the pot and steep for 3 mins 

7. Strain into a container/cup and add sugar as needed 

9. Wait 10-15 minutes for the chai to cool down and then refrigerate for 15-20 minutes

10. Serve the cooled chai over ice and enjoy! 

How to Make a Vegan chai

So you want to enjoy chai but also avoid dairy products? Let’s make it happen. 

Vegan chai is absolutely delicious and easy to make. All you need for the best vegan chai are the right ingredients. 

With patience and the right mixes, all the steps in making a vegan chai at home are super easy. 

Vegan chai

Chai has traditionally always been made with some form of dairy – either cow’s or buffalo’s milk. There are accounts of a Dutchman named Jean Nieuhoff who had milk with tea at a soiree held by Emperor Shunzhi of China in 1655. Then there are the people of Tibet who have been known to add yak butter into their teas since the 10th century. 

In Europe, milk with tea became popular when it was served at a famous Parisian salon by Madame de la Sabliere in 1680. It then traveled throughout Europe and found its way to the British - who made it a daily habit and began adding milk and sugar. The rest is history.

Vegan chai is the easiest thing to make because all you need to do is to add your milk of choice. 

Alternative Milks

Oatmilk - This has the best consistency for chai and is the hands down winner

Almond - Definitely a solid number two choice and adds some nuttiness to the chai flavor

Coconut milk - We’ve heard great stories about this one but never tried it ourselves

Soy milk - Eh, you really want to stay away from this one but it work if there’s nothing else in the fridge

The key thing to remember is, when making a vegan chai with alternative milk, you’ll want to add an extra splash of it than what the recipe calls for to counter the inherent “thin” nature of alt milks. 

Vegan Chai Recipe

Bring 1 cup water to simmer and add 3 tsp of Kolkata Chai Chai Mix

Grate or mince a piece of fresh ginger into the boil (optional)

Bring to a rolling boil brew for 3 minutes and add 1 cup of your favorite alternative milk of your choice

Bring to boil, turn off heat

Cover and steep for 3 minutes. Strain, add sugar as needed

How to identify a good chai mix

Let’s admit it – after sipping countless unsatisfying chai lattes, you’re ready to try making a cup of authentic chai at home. But what should you look for when choosing a chai mix?

CTC Assam Tea

Based on the evolution of all things organic and natural, you may think that the best chai comes from loose leaf tea, but that’s only partially correct. A great chai contains loose leaves that have been turned into pellets through the cut, tear, and curl method (CTC) which cuts through the milk and delivers maximum flavor.

Spices

When buying a chai mix, make sure it has all the essential spices – green cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. 

Each one of these ingredients carries with them a great deal of health benefits and a tapestry of unique flavors which turns black tea into chai.

Cardamom 

The next thing you’re going to be looking for are premium, whole spices in your mix. Take a look at the mix and if you’re seeing a steady presence of cardamom pods, then you’re in the right place. That’s because despite cardamom being extremely flavorful, it’s also expensive, so a lot of companies will cut back on it in their chai mix. Lucky for you, our Signature Masala Chai Mix contains more cardamom per serving than anyone else out there.

Health-focused

Chai is known to have several health benefits. It’s a drink that originated in India from Ayurvedic tonics that would combine a variety of spices with hot water. 

Chai mixes, however, may not be as healthy. Many powdered and syrup based chai mixes utilize preservatives and sugar, which any health conscious individual will rightfully be wary of.

When you’re purchasing a chai mix, choose the one that uses organic tea, all-natural spices and doesn’t have any added sugars. Our Signature Masala Chai mix is a great place to start. 

Taste 

Variety is the spice of life. 

Once you start looking around, you’ll realize that there are a few varieties of chai mixes. We. produce a tantalizing DIY Rose Masala Chai Mix, which has actual rose petals as part of the mix. This unique combination is hard to find in any other chai mix.

There’s also our Decaf Chai Mix for anyone who is looking to avoid caffeine entirely. Lastly, our Signature Masala Chai can be enjoyed in its pure form, or elevated with some luxurious saffron through our Signature Variety Pack. 

Chai Gift Sets

Chai is such a good gift that the term “chai paani’ is slang for a bribe in India. Can’t get that driver’s license? Give the instructor some chai paani and magically turn your horrific road test into a pass. (We may or may not know some people who’ve done this). 

Chai lovers

There’s a lot to love about chai. If you have someone in your life that orders chai regularly at their local cafe, a curated gift box of our critically acclaimed masala chai mix might do wonders.

Due to the chemical composition of Black tea, chai releases caffeine slower than other beverages like coffee. This leads to a smooth, sustained source of energy and why chai lovers will have multiple cups throughout the day.

Gift Sets

We all love a good gift and offer a few options for the people in your life, depending on their familiarity with chai. 

Looking to introduce someone to chai for the first time? Our “Starter Kit” comes with everything someone needs to make chai by themselves. Packed with our Signature Masala Chai Mix, a pack of Parle-G biscuits, and a handsome Kolkata Chai black/clay mug and a strainer, it’s got it going on.

For everyone else, including yourself, who needs to find some quiet moments, we would recommend “Treat Yourself Gift Box” for the ultimate self-care package. Filled with goodies beyond just our incredible chai mix, this is a no brainer for anyone who needs a little boost. 

Combination Packs

For those who just need chai and not the extras, our combo packs provide incredible value (and flavor!). The DIY Chai Mix - 2 Kit Combo Pack features both our classic masala and rose masala mix and has been our best seller for over two years now!

Our next most popular gift item is our DIY Chai mix + Mug Combination pack which features our fancy two-tone Black/Tan mug and signature chai mixes. 

Whether it’s for family, a gift for your coworkers for anyone in between, combine chai and a thoughtful gift message for the ultimate memories. 

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