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New chai from Whittard - back by popular demand

Chai is the Indian word for tea, but in the West ‘chai’ refers specifically to tea with traditional Indian spices and milk (known as masala chai in India) and it's a soothing, fragrant drink, perfect for this time of year. 

What we know as chai originated in India, as a result of a marketing campaign. In 1900, most of the tea consumed in Britain was grown in British India and British Ceylon, however consumption of black tea in India itself remained low until an aggressive promotional campaign by the (British-owned) Indian Tea Association in the early 20th century encouraging factories, mines, and textile mills to provide tea breaks for their workers. It also supported many independent ‘chai wallahs’ throughout the growing railway system.

tea cup

Tea was originally promoted in the English mode e.g. served with small added amounts of milk and sugar. However in a bid to make the tea go further, chai wallahs started to add spices and greatly increase the proportions of milk and sugar, thus reducing their usage of tea leaves. Masala chai in its present form has now firmly established itself as a popular beverage, not just outlasting the British Raj, but spreading beyond South Asia to the rest of the world.

Traditionally, it is prepared by simmering a mixture of milk and water with loose leaf black tea, sugar and whole spices. The tea and spice residues are then strained off, before serving.

Whilst the traditional method produces delightful results, it is not always very convenient so Whittard have launched three new varieties which just require the addition of milk, hot or cold.

Vanilla Chai

For a traditional chai hit, try Spiced Chai,   Vanilla Chai for a hint of creamy vanilla or Chocolate Chai for a winning combination of chocolate and cinnamon. 

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