Chai tea has growing in popularity in the UK over recent years. So we’re pleased to stock the finest varieties, each of which is the perfect companion for a chilly autumn day

The next time you queue for a cappuccino in a coffee shop, keep an eye open for the chai latte option. This drink has grown in popularity over recent years, with many people choosing it as an alternative to frothy coffee.

Chai latte is an interesting mix of flavours and cultures. Its origins lie in the masala chai that is drunk in India. This is brewed using Assam tea and spices as its base. The fragrant mix is served with milk and sugar to create a sweet and indulgent drink that is richly aromatic.

Travel to India and you’ll hear the distinctive cry of tea sellers ringing from pretty much every street corner: “Chai garam,” they call out, “masala chaaai!”

Sadly, the increasing popularity of chai in the UK has led to the production of instant varieties, which are made by adding boiling water to a freeze-dried powder. Suffice it to say, the result bears little relation to proper chai tea, and doesn’t do justice to the complexity of its flavours, or its rich Indian heritage.

In contrast, all of our chai teas are produced using the same basic method, which involves boiling tea leaves with warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and fennel. The result is a drink that is pleasing on the palate and invigorating to the senses – and we’ve a variety of different flavours to give it that extra little bit of edge.

Try our Red Chilli Chai, for example. This is a traditional Indian recipe, and combines the spice of chilli with overtones of strawberry to create a distinctive brew with a hearty kick. It’s a perfect way to brighten yourself up, especially in the midst of the long winter evenings. 

The same could be said of Gunpowder Chai. Despite the name (which derives from the shape of the tea leaves after they have been withered and steamed, and rolled into small pellets that resemble gunshot), this is a much subtler tea than Red Chilli Chai. It’s no less stimulating, however, thanks to its unique combination of herby green tea flavours and warming chai spices.

One of our favourite indulgences here at Cup of Tea is Chocolate Chai, which provides exactly the flavour you’d expect. It consists of chai tea leaves mixed with cocoa shells, and we’re all agreed that it is, quite simply, delicious.

For those who enjoy sweet flavours why not try Chai Ginger-Orange and Chai Vanilla, a sweet treat with none of the calorific implications. And if you want to cut out some caffeine, we stock a Rooibos Chai that merges the very best of Africa and India in one brew.

There’s more or less a chai to suit any taste, and we’ve just scratched the surface of our full range.  To get a better sense of this most fascinating tea, we offer a Chai Selection Hamper that includes many of our most popular varieties.

We hope you enjoy discovering the joys of chai this autumn. It’s certainly a treat we intend to savour as the nights draw in. 

8th October 2013

Back to news