Chef Howard’s Summer Beverage Series: Chai

Chef Howard is bringing us the latest in beverages with his new Summer Beverage Series! He’s got consumers’ next drink obsessions all figured out. Discover what’s trending in beverages, get inspired, and request free samples!

A tale of Chai: the latte, the lassi and the iced tea

Masala Chai (as it’s referred to in many parts of the world) is a flavored tea made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. The spice blend includes green cardamom and ground dry ginger then it is mixed with the black tea and steeped.

So, Chef, tell me how this amazing concoction came about and its history.  Why of course….

The word chai originated from the Chinese word for tea, which is cha.  In English, this spiced tea is commonly referred to as masala chai, chai tea, or simply chai. Coffee houses use the term chai latte or chai tea latte for their version to indicate that it is made with some sort of steamed milk, much like that used to make a cafe latte, but mixed with a spiced tea concentrate instead of espresso. By the mid-’90s, Chai Lattes had gained a ton of traction on the U.S. coffeehouse scene and is now a mainstay on just about every menu.

Now Chai’s are found in several different varieties, different forms and even different flavors.  While they all follow the same basic framework of black tea, Green Cardamom and ground Ginger they all have differences.  Like with Curry every family, coffee shop or tea house has their own variation of Chai, some have cinnamon, some have star anise, some have nutmeg or even different peppercorns.  Then they are sweetened with honey, or palm sugar, or brown sugar or even coconut syrup.  Many coffee shops make them “dirty” by adding some expresso for an even bigger caffeine boost and finally they serve them hot or iced, with a drinkable yogurt or even frozen as a blended drink.  Combinations are endless, flavors are familiar, and all are refreshing on a hot summer day.

Looking for some help in bringing a new twist to a tried and true favorite?  Give us a call and let us show you the variations we have developed in our kitchens.

Request samples here.



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