CHAGA CHAI

How do you feel about chai tea? Most people think of chai concentrate when they think of chai. But that isn’t what I’m talking about. Chai is the Hindi word for tea, traditionally it is black tea brewed with aromatic spices such as ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, etc. Usually it’s prepared with milk and sugar. Today I am sipping on my own signature blend, called Chaga Chai.

Commercial beverage companies took the idea of chai and created a concentrated version for mass production. You may be familiar with Masala Chai, which is commonly used in chai lattes. It’s wildly popular and has changed the identity of chai in the US as we know it. In my neck of the woods, I prefer the traditional way that doesn’t come from concentrate. I love tasting the complexity of the whole herbs and the concentrate doesn’t give me that.

Chai is important in some Indian communities. They drink it year around and in some places it’s part of their heritage and it contributes to their identities. Similar to our coffee drinking rituals in the United States, these beverage traditions are important. They become a part of our daily routines and I personally think that is something to pay attention to.

Chaga Chai is my Western take on traditional Chai. I included aromatic herbs as well as herbs that are known to have medicinal value in the Western hemispheres. My intention for this blend was to create a chai blend with adaptogenic ingredients. It includes dandelion root, cardamom pods, burdock root, astragalus root, chaga, clove, star anise, black peppercorn and Ceylon cinnamon.

WHAT IS CHAGA?

Chaga is a mushroom that grows on the bark of birch trees in colder climates. It has been used for traditional herbal medicine for centuries in Northern Europe, Northern Asia and North America. It has traditionally been used to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation, potentially combatting infections and viruses. There are tons of beneficial research that is being done with this fungi, and it’s one of the reasons it’s included in this chai blend.

With this blend, east meets west. It’s one of my original blends and it’s still holding strong. It’s one that I’m most proud of and plan to keep offering far into the future. I hope you love it as much as I do!

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