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HERBCo | Monterey Bay Spice Co

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Bulk Chai Blends

on being satisfyingly spicy sweet
There’s just something about a warm cup of masala chai. It’s creamy, sweet, and a little spicy. It hits all the right flavor notes and is extremely satisfying. Chai is warming on a cold day, fortifying when you’re feeling fatigued, it even wakes up your palate when you’re feeling sluggish. It’s a versatile tea that can be tailored to fit your mood.

on blending a brew
Historically masala chai started out as a medicinal brew and contained just herbs and spices until the British promoted tea drinking in India in the early 1800s. Assam tea was added, and the full-bodied black tea held up so well to the spicy flavors, it became an essential part of the beverage. These days chai usually consists of a tea base, spices, sweetener, and milk. Cardamom is usually an essential ingredient, but you can get creative with the endless combinations of flavors.

Did you know the word ‘chai’ actually translates to ‘tea’? So when you say ‘chai tea’ you’re actually saying ‘tea tea’! ‘Masala’ chai refers to the spices in the tea, so when you say it this way you’re referencing a spiced tea. But no need to worry, in the US most people refer to the brew as simply ‘chai’. Walk into any tea store or café and ask for chai and they’ll know what you are looking for. Most cafes offer a ‘chai latte’ which is the spicy tea mixed with steamed milk. Sometimes it’ll be sweetened, sometimes not, so be sure to ask.

all in the family
Masala chai is a staple in various parts of India where families have their own secret recipes, and you can find sold on the street from vendors called chai wallahs, each of whom have their own recipe for the drink. Ingredients such as cardamom, ginger, star anise, fennel, cinnamon and peppercorns can be found in various chai recipes. The actual herbs and spices used vary by region. Of course, everyone thinks their recipe is best!

adding the extras
Usually made with Indian black tea, you can also substitute rooibos if you’re looking for a caffeine-free alternative. Tailor your chai to your taste—you can use cow’s milk, coconut milk, soy or almond, whatever you like best. Sweeten it with sugar, honey, maple syrup, whatever you usually reach for. Get as creative as you like with the spices, or use one of our chai blends. We even have a rooibos chai blend with chocolate, ginger, and cardamom that’s a sweet and spicy treat any time of the day. Pro tip: it makes a perfectly sweet way to end a meal.

on brewing a blend
Our chai blends can be prepared in two different ways- you can steep them up the western way, using boiling water in a teapot and allow the recipient to add your milk and sugar as they like. Or to prepare it in a more traditional manner: boil the water in a small saucepan, add the tea and milk and let it cook for a few minutes so it becomes rich and flavorful. Add sweetener to taste. Pour into cups and enjoy.

Whatever your preference, a steamy cup of chai is a welcome sip any time of day.

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