What is chai tea?
Chai, a spiced Indian tea
As simple as it may seem, the word 'chai' means 'tea'. Chai as we know it was created in India, when people began to add black tea to 'masala', a spice blend traditionally drunk for its beneficial effects. That's how chai was born in India. As a matter of fact, chai in India and Pakistan is what maté is in Argentina: an institution. If you ever go to India, don't be shy and try the traditional spiced tea.
What does chai taste like?
Chai is traditionally made with full-bodied black tea, a blend of spices, milk and sugar. If you're someone who likes following recipes without fail, you'll be disappointed because there's no set recipe for chai. In India, everyone tailors their spiced tea to their tastes and preferences. Many families create their own recipes. Ingredients vary from one region to the next and different spices are often used.
This means that chai tea tastes intense, refined, spiced (of course!) or sweet depending on the recipe. It's useful to know that adding sugar in chai brings out and enhances the taste of the spices used.
How to prepare chai tea?
To prepare your chai, choose a chai tea from our range of spiced black teas. Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of spiced tea in your tea infuser or teapot. Add 90°C water and let it brew for 3 to 5 minutes.
Chai tea comes in a gourmet version, with frothy milk. See how you fare against your favourite coffee shop and try your own home-made chai latte. You can find our chai latte recipe here.
The beneficial effects of chai tea: The power of spices
If we were asked for an analogy, we'd say that chai is like Asterix's magic potion. A pinch of cinnamon, a hint of ginger, a smidge of black pepper... That's right: chai is a blend of spices. But not just any spices!
Chai spices offer many beneficial effects. Cinnamon and cloves are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. As for ginger, it's the star spice in winter and is often used to prevent colds and chills. Lastly, as a blend of many spices, chai greatly improves digestion. Aniseed, often found in the blend, plays a key role. Are you ready to see for yourself how good Indian tea is for you?
Famous chai spices
While there is no one set recipe for chai, there are some spices you can't do without. Most chai spice blends contain ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, fennel, pepper, cloves or even coriander, nutmeg, and cumin.
If you like strong flavours, ginger is probably among your favourite spices. The root, grown in tropical regions and especially Asia, is an invigorating, refreshing and revitalising spice. People love it for its warm and slightly spicy flavour.
Pepper's spiced flavour with lots of bite tingles under the tongue with each sip of chai. Among all chai spices, pepper is an ingredient that's always easy to recognise.
Originally from India, cardamom seeds develop a particularly powerful smell that's warm and fresh at the same time, with a hint of lemon. Cardamom is a surprising spice that fits right in with chai tea.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices, but also one of the most beloved. Refined and slightly sweet, cinnamon could be called the comfort spice. We love using it when preparing chai.
Cloves, which are shaped like nails, have a penetrating flavour that's both warm and rich. This chai spice is spicy and bitter. Aside from jazzing up our savoury recipes, cloves are essential when preparing chai with character.
Choose the right Kusmi chai for you
Tchai of the Tiger, an organic black tea inspired by traditional chai
Just like traditional chai, Tchai of the Tiger perfectly combines black tea and flavourful spices. All the star spices used in chai can be found in this organic black tea, including ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and black and pink pepper. This organic blend is a surprising balance between strength and gentleness, inspired by the captivating feline that it helps protect. That's right: Tchai of the Tiger is an organic black tea developed together with the WWF. For every tin sold, €1 is donated to the Tx2 project, whose goal is to protect wild tigers.
Kashmir Tchaï, the must-have black chai tea by Kusmi
Kashmir Tchaï, one of the company's oldest recipes, is a blend of black tea flavoured with a strong blend of chai spices. Among others, this black tea contains cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Add sugar and frothy milk to your heart's content for a truly gourmet recipe. It's the perfect recipe for any chai newbie to help them discover the delights of this spiced tea from India.
Sweet Chaï, the maté that is a new take on classic chai
Our Sweet Chaï maté brings together three continents: South Africa and its iconic rooibos, Argentina and its traditional maté, and of course India and its irresistible spiced chai. Sweet Chaï is made with chai spices: aniseed, fennel, ginger and cardamom, which complement the well-rounded taste of rooibos and the freshness of maté. It is a wonderful new take on chai tea that's packed with punch.