WHAT IS CHAI?
The original Chai Masala – or Spiced Tea – comes from India, where spices are simmered for hours in milk before tea and sugar are added and the sweet rich mixture is served in tiny cups.
Hakanoa Chai Syrups are fresh spice and black tea concentrates designed to be mixed with hot textured velvety milk to make a Chai Latte. They also work with soy milk, most nut milks and are divine with coconut drinking milk. They can also be diluted with hot water to make a Chai Tea.
Our SPICY CHAI is the result of a collaboration between Rebekah and Helen Ollivier, the barista who runs her Aotea Coffee Stand every Saturday at the Britomart Market. Helen vetted 9 recipes before she and Rebekah were satisfied with the results.
The blend of fresh spices, organic black tea and a modest amount of organic raw sugar is based on a traditional Rajasthani recipe that Rebekah learned as a teenager. Fresh root ginger, cinnamon quills, green cardamom pods, black peppercorns and cloves are simmered and steeped for hours before being carefully filtered. We keep fine sediment from the whole spices in our syrups, as it carries so much flavour, but leave large fibres behind. We add tea and just enough sweetness to amplify the array of flavours. There is a lovely balance of spice flavour with a lingering warm finish from the ginger and pepper.
Our CLASSIC CHAI (it was called SWEET CHAI, but we’ve recently changed the name because it’s not really all that sweet…) has a richer smoother balance of spice flavour and tea and sweetness. If you want to make this truly indulgent and much closer to the orIginal, make it in a tiny cup and stir in a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk. We have to thank Sami from the Satya Chai Bar for that tip 🙂
Hakanoa UNSWEETENED CHAI (it was called SUGAR-FREE CHAI, but we’ve recently changed the name because people assumed we’d added a sugar-free sweetener like Stevia which is not the case) has a perfect balance of spice & tea when diluted in hot water. We add a touch of fresh lemon juice to all our Chai’s to make the mixture just acidic enough not to spoil. We balance that lemon flavour with a few organic sultanas, but we chose not to sweeten this mixture. The flavours may seem muted in high-fat milks, especially when compared to our other Chai concentrates syrups that do contain some raw sugar. If you would like to boost the flavours, add the unrefined sweetener of your choice – honey, date syrup, or coconut nectar all work nicely, or try a small pinch of salt in your cup.