Welcome to Chai Season, Version 2024. Kick it Off with Organic Chai!
Chai comes in literally thousands of variations, all of them revolving around different combinations of spices, herbs, tea and more. People serve it straight—just hot chai. They blend it with cream and a sweetener—the most common preparation in India, where it often is brewed directly into hot milk. Baristas use chai to fashion lattes. Gelato makers incorporate it into sweet treats. Bakers infuse cupcakes, scones, cakes and more with chai spice.
But here’s one kind of chai that its enthusiasts don’t find everywhere: organic chai. As the many recipes tap a huge variety of ingredients, from nutmeg to chile peppers to turmeric and ginger, it can be tough to source all of the desired ingredients as organic.
At Ku Cha House of Tea, however, all 10 of our chais are organic. We work hard to source organic chai, because we believe in organic and we feel that organic versions not only are healthier for people and the planet—they taste better.
Mark National Organic Month With Organic Chai
With chilly nights, leaves just beginning to show hints of colors other than green and the return of sweatshirts to the wardrobe, now is the time to sink into the manifold pleasures of chai. And during September, National Organic Month, we encourage our community to drink organic chai. Once you start tasting our custom organic chais, you’ll crave them year-round.
Each of our chais offers a unique formulation. Some, like our Winter Chai, offer wallops of heat, thanks to spices like cayenne pepper. The Winter Chai also incorporates cacao and a suite of other complementary spices. We indeed savor sipping this one … in winter. Others, such as Bombay Chai, refer to classic chai recipes in India. This one leverages ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and anise seed for its bright flavor. And then we have chais, like Sunrise Chai, that lean heavily into one ingredient—in this case, turmeric. It’s delicious, and so healthy.
Interested in exploring organic chai, just as the season for enjoying this special beverage ramps up? We offer below a trio of chais that are sure to enliven and warm your autumn and winter!
Organic Chai: Alpine Chai
Many chais turn to Camellia sinensis from India, which in some cases is actually a variation of Camellia sinensis. Most tea, including all from China and Japan, is actually Camellia sinensis sinensis. But some varieties in India are Camellia sinensis assamica, which has a larger leaf, thrives in the tropics and can’t endure cold temperatures as successfully as the Chinese style.
For this tea, we skipped over the India-style black teas for Keemun Monkey black tea, from China’s Anhui Province. Keemun Monkey is smooth and rich, with nutty undertones. To this outstanding Chinese black tea we added classic baking spices, which together yield an especially balanced chai without too much spicy heat. Our Alpine Chai contains cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove and nutmeg. As with most chais, we do appreciate this when softened with creamer (dairy or non-dairy) and slightly sweetened. Our sweetener of choice: honey. But it’s also wonderful without any amendments, and serves as an excellent baking partner.
Organic Chai: Masala Chai
When people in 19th century southern India first began mixing tea, spices, milk and sweetener they called the beverage masala chai. The word chai means tea, and is a variation of the Chinese word, cha. masala means “spiced.” So technically, chai just refers to black tea, and masala chai suggests the spiced beverage that now is famous worldwide.
Traditional masala chai relies on a spice mixture, called karha, that has a base of ground ginger and green cardamom pods. From there, a welter of spices can get added. Most of the time, spices can include fennel, star anise, peppercorn, cinnamon, ginger root, vanilla, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg.
In western India, chai blenders often reject clove and black peppercorn. In the region of Bhopal, salt gets added, and the Kashmiri version replaces black tea with green tea and includes salt. It also might involve baking soda, which gives the tea a pink hue.
Our house-blended Masala Chai marries strong, finely ground Irish Breakfast tea with cinnamon, ginger, anise, black peppercorn, cardamom, clove and bay leaf.
It is flavor-punched, and bold! We love this one with creamer and a sweetener—the traditional way to enjoy masala chai.
Organic Chai: Rooibos Chai
People of all ages from counties around the world embrace chai for its vibrant flavor and versatility. It is scrumptious chilled, or whipped into a latte. A mug of hot chai kickstarts a cold morning with grace, and finds its way into routines at the end of the day—including being used as a colorful cocktail ingredient.
But not everybody wants the caffeine. We offer an outstanding decaffeinated chai, our Decaf Autumn Chai, which we highly recommend for people interested in skipping the energy boosting plant compound. But we also like to promote our Organic Rooibos Chai, which instead of finding its footing in traditional Camellia sinensis tea, turns to the South African shrub rooibos.
This organic chai nails the flavor, despite the pivot away from traditional tea. In fact, we endorse the earthiness that rooibos imparts to the blend. It transforms this chai, with its lineup of classic spices, into something just a little bit different.
And by incorporating rooibos, it also invites a health-boosting plant to the chai party. Electrolytes flood rooibos, which is excellent news for the health-conscious. These minerals fight the free radicals that cause inflammation in the body. In addition, the electrolytes aid hydration. What explains Gatorade’s popularity with athletics? It’s definitely not overall health; it’s loaded with sucrose and artificial flavors and colors. But it’s also packed with electrolytes!
Our blend includes rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, anise, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf.
Welcome to Chai Season, Version 2024! Brew it, sip it all day, add it to pastries and smoothies. And begin this year’s chai journey with organic chai to celebrate National Organic Month. You’ll never turn back!