Okay, okay…we know we’re biased. But only because we truly believe that chai is best enjoyed when it’s loose leaf, whole spice and full of flavour! It’s not just us, either…although powders and syrups prevail in the age of convenience, there’s plenty of evidence that proves an authentic, loose leaf chai blend is the way to go for true chai lovers and fans of flavour.
The number one benefit of loose leaf chai has got to be taste. Whole spices retain their flavour up to two times longer than ground spice – which often also includes preservatives and spices that have been dried prior to processing. They stay fresher for longer (up to two years!) with no preservatives added, and offer a deeper, more complex flavour. When used whole they are healthier, more flavourful and don’t need any added chemicals to keep them fresh and tasty. Yep, ground spices and powdered chai mixes are convenient – but for the sake of a couple more minutes the flavour trade-off is huge. Also, an authentic blend will be predominantly made from whole spices with tea as an accompaniment – so beware of flavoured ‘spiced’ teas or black teas with a few cloves thrown in.
Authentic loose leaf chai offers a slow, satisfying and calming experience. It’s a long drink – designed to be brewed, poured and enjoyed with love. We think there’s nothing nicer than sitting with a pot of aromatic chai tea gazing out at the world as you pour the golden liquid into your cup bit by bit, watching the brightly coloured spices dance in your strainer. It’s also very Instagram friendly 😉
The health benefits
Before powdered chai was a possibility full-bodied, flavoursome authentic chai lattes were widely used as health drinks and remedies to treat a range of maladies and ailments. It was actually first developed in India and Siam in line with ancient wellness and rituals associated with Ayurveda (more about the history of chai here). Whole spices naturally preserve their multitude of powerful health benefits much longer than ground spice. When brewed they release their flavour alongside their micronutrients, vitamins and antioxidants into the milk. It is said that because the recipe and process involved in brewing a chai latte is so simple these benefits are more readily absorbed by the body. And as nothing’s added, there are no nasties or preservatives to cramp your style! Read more about the benefits of chai lattes here.
You might think that if powdered chai isn’t quite as tasty or healthy as loose leaf, it’d be less expensive, right? Wrong! Even though our loose chai blend is unadulterated, natural, whole and requires little processing, it actually comes in cheaper per cup (sometimes up to 50% cheaper) than lots of powdered alternatives as you need less thanks to the bold flavour of the spices we use.