Our offering of this classic-style chai is composed of the highest quality ingredients blended to achieve the traditional flavor of Masala Chai. Bold and spicy black tea is supported by ginger, cardamom, and peppercorns. Brew it strong with milk and honey for a traditional chai.
A Brief Etymology of Masala Chai
Masala Chai has a complicated socio-political history that continues to evolve even almost 80 years after colonial rule ended in India. Part of this complicated history is confusion around and appropriation of the word "chai" into English.
In Indian languages, "chai" directly translates to "tea," so when we say "chai tea" we are all essentially saying "tea tea". (Tea drinkers familiar with Chinese and Japanese may note the similarity here to "cha" or "ocha".) The keyword in the name "Masala Chai," then, is not "chai," but rather "Masala" meaning "spiced". Masala can be any combination of spices with the most common being cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper (some family recipes are really spicy and even call for mace!).
Our collection of "chai" pull from many traditions and use descriptors like Masala, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Golden Dragon, Spiced Orange, and Saratoga Red to indicate the different spice mixes used and "chai" to indicate they are mixed with tea (or, in the case of Saratoga Red Chai, with rooibos).
You can learn more about the political and cultural importance of chai in this excellent Epicurious article by Leena Trivedi-Grenie.
You can also learn more about this popular drink, how we talk about chai in the shop, and the caffeine in chai on our blog!
Looking for a decaffeinated spiced chai? Try our naturally caffeine-free Saratoga Red Chai.
About Masala Chai
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