Our tea of the month is Chai, providing us with the perfect excuse to celebrate one of our favourite speciality teas – and the culture that spawned it

Picture the scene: you’re walking down a busy Indian street, crowds jostling you on either side, the sound of their banter ringing in your ears. The temperature is high, and the air is heavy with humidity.

You’ve been on your feet for what feels like days and it’s become an effort to continue threading your way through the throngs of people. Meanwhile, your mouth is parched and your belly is aching for some sustenance, while your head feels leaden with fatigue.

Then, some way ahead, you pick out the distinctive cry of a traditional tea seller, strategically positioned at the intersection of two streets. They’re offering a tea that is the very essence of Indian culture: a delicately spiced, soothing drink served with milk and plenty of sugar to provide the perfect pick-me-up for the weary traveller. “Chai garam!” the tea seller hollers. “Masala Chaaaiiiii!”

For anyone who’s visited India, this cry is like the celestial chorus: a reassuring song that echoes from almost every street corner, promising calories, thirst-quenching liquid and a delicious flavour experience. And this is exactly what chai tea offers – which helps explain why it has become so popular among UK tea enthusiasts over recent years.

Of course, the way chai is most commonly consumed in this country is rather different from the traditional Indian tea-seller’s masala chai. We tend to come across it most regularly as chai latte – a frothy alternative to cappuccino sold in trendy coffee bars, where some of its distinctive flavour is lost. Worse still, it’s now possible to buy instant chai, though we wouldn’t recommend that you do.

Instead, we’d advise that you treat yourself to some of our exclusive chai varieties, made in the traditional way using an Assam tea base.  This is then boiled with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, fennel and ginger to create the distinctive fragrance and flavour of delicious chai.

For the perfect introduction to chai, we recommend Ronnefeldt Chai, which is the purest form of this tasty tea. Drink it with sugar and milk to get something of the Indian experience, or simply take it black for a cleaner, less indulgent, flavour.

If indulgence is what you crave, mind you, then you can’t go wrong with a healthy dose of Ronnefeldt Chocolate Chai. This yummy brew combines chocolate flavours with cinnamon and cream, resulting in a drink that could almost serve as pudding, such is its rich character.

The same could be said of Ronnefeldt Chai Vanilla, with its smooth and luxurious tones of vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon. At the other end of the spectrum, Ronnefeldt Red Chilli Chai provides all the flavour of strawberries, perfectly complemented by a lasting kick of the hot stuff.    

Of course, for the ultimate chai-drinking experience, you should look no further than Ronnefeldt Tea Couture Masala Chai. With its traditional rich blend of flavours, this tea will take you right into the heart of India and provide stimulation for all your senses. And if you listen hard enough, you might just hear that distinctive cry, somewhere in the depths of your imagination: “Chai garam. Masala Chaaaaiiii!”

 click here to buy chai tea online.

2nd October 2014

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