We’ve been making our own unique blend of Firepot Chai for nearly 20 years now. Our authentic, sweet, and vibrant blend of black tea and organic spices have won the hearts and captured the taste buds of Firepot devotees for close to two decades. What started as a mission to save the world with ethical teas in 2001 has since then, for us, become a national brand. Curiosity about the variety of spices used in chai prompted us to play with different flavor profiles until we achieved masala nirvana. From then on, Firepot chai wasn’t just an option on our menu...it became a worldwide movement.
8. Chai Recipes
An ancient medicine, a sweetly spiced coffee shop drink, a way to connect with friends and family? Chai can be so many things to so many people.
But exactly what is Chai Tea?
“Chai” is a common translation of the Hindi word “chāy” simply meaning “tea”. Around the world, the two most common names for tea are 1. A variation on “chai” or “cha” 2. A variation on “tay” or “tea”. So in saying Chai Tea, you are literally saying "tea tea”!
When we say Chai Tea, we are referring to a beverage from the Indian subcontinent where people have for ages boiled local spices with black tea, milk, and sugar. In India, the word for tea is chai, so when the first Westerners who traveled to India and fell in love with this popular street food returned home, they told stories of a famed tea called chai.
More accurately, they were drinking Masala Chai. “Masala” is a Hindi word meaning “spice mix”, so “Masala Chai” loosely means spiced tea.
Whether you call it chai tea, masala chai, or just chai, it is a delicious blend of mixed spices boiled with black tea, milk, and sugar.
The history of chai dates back to over 5000 years ago! And believe it or not, the original chai contained no actual "tea" or rather Camellia sinensis (the plant that we use to make tea) leaves. Instead, it was a blend of spices used in Eastern and specifically Ayurvedic medicine as a healing beverage. Milk and sugar were added later to make the spices a bit more palatable.
The addition of black tea leaves is thought to have been popularized in the mid-1800s when the Camellia sinensis assamica tea variety was discovered in India. During that time, tea was beginning to be cultivated by the British, who ruled the continent and had more than a small obsession with “the China drink”, tea. This was the beginning of modern chai as we know it. People added tropical sweet spices to locally grown tea and a culinary revolution was born!
In India, it took a few more years to realize that the local workers in the factories, the textile mills and the mines would also improve their efficiency if they were given the benefit of the tea break and a cup of tea. Patrons followed and tea consumption then developed rapidly.
This generated the introduction of a typically Indian cup, the spicy milk tea brew called masala chai, which quickly became part of the Indian way of life. Indeed, with the Indians’ innate sense for business, hundreds and then thousands of chai wallahs – small business operators – set up their street stalls for brewing and selling their masala chai from early morning to late in the night. In this way, chai has come to be sold on every street corner across India and is a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and connection.
People adore chai not just because of the taste, but also because of the healthful properties it provides body and mind. Here are just a few of the reasons chai has become a global treasure:
It can wake you up! Black tea leaves naturally contain caffeine and can give you lasting energy and focus of a cup of coffee without the jitters.
Can help with nausea relief! Ginger not only adds a little kick to your chai but also can help soothe an upset stomach and nausea.
Multiple studies have shown higher antioxidant levels and "flavonoids" within one hour of drinking tea. Research is ongoing, but it definitely packs a health punch!
Clove has historically been used as a natural pain remedy, especially in toothaches!
In addition to the wellness that the base tea used in chai affords, there are abundant benefits from the spice combination used. Spices most commonly found in chai are those grown in India and Sri Lanka, where chai, as we know it is the West, comes from. Think cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black peppercorns. Sometimes star anise nutmeg, allspice, and turmeric are added too.
Not only is cinnamon sweet, delicious, and low in calories, but it also helps protect against inflammation, fend off free radicals that can cause damage to cells, fight unhealthy bacteria, and even help lower blood sugar levels. This popular spice can also lead to purification and spiritual growth.
A staple of Indian cooking, it is only natural that cardamom would be a popular spice in chai tea. Cardamom is said to uplift the spirits, calm nerves, and clarify your thoughts. Known as a stimulant to the mind and provides warmth to the body, this healing spice has also been said to help impotence, headaches, and pregnancy.
This amazing root offers a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits on many different levels. Ginger aids digestion by improving circulation and delivering oxygen to organs so they can perform optimally. It’s best known for its medicinal use for alleviating nausea, antioxidant properties, and increasing blood circulation, but this spicy root is known to have aphrodisiac properties as well.
Cloves are well known for their healing powers and are considered one of the most powerful protective herbs. Cloves are high in antioxidants and can kill bacteria as well as improve liver health and regulate blood sugar. This special herb is also known to encourage friendships.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties and cancer-fighting abilities, black peppercorns can benefit your brain, lower cholesterol levels, and even fight cancer. Black pepper helps the pancreas produce digestive enzymes. Spiritually, black pepper represents courage and strength.
This medicinal herb is thought to symbolize hidden worth. It is also popular for its health benefits which include good eye health, lowering cholesterol, stimulating insulin and memory, and more.
Most commonly, black tea is the foundation for chai but rooibos and yerba mate are also used - and all of them offer natural holistic and medicinal value to your body.
Click on the links below to learn more about each of these teas and the health benefits they provide:
Chai is such a versatile beverage! As we mentioned above, different teas can form the base for chai. You can experiment with various spice blends, and you can drink it hot or iced. Different types of milk also add their own flavor profile: cow's milk, almond milk, oat milk or soy milk are examples. From there, you can add a dollop of honey or a shot of espresso for a "dirty chai." For Firepot aficionados, you can enjoy your chai loose-leaf, in a concentrate, or as a tea sachet!
Our original loose leaf chai blends are made by boiling the tea with water and milk and then adding sugar, any additional ingredients like vanilla, sea salt, or fresh ginger, stirring, and then straining.
Flexibility: You can add your sweetener of choice or create a sugar-free version. The concentrate is already brewed with raw, organic sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt.
Economical: Each tin of loose leaf chai makes over 20 cups of tea, a fantastic value! Concentrates make 6 12 ounce cups of chai each.
Storage: The loose-leaf blend maintains its freshness for up to a year. The concentrate must be consumed within a 6-month shelf life date.
Inspired by an ancient recipe from Northern India, our masala chai is made with hand-blended and freshly ground aromatic spices for a uniquely vivid and balanced taste
Firepot Rooibos Chai is brewed with South Africa's mineral and nutrient-rich herb, making our popular chai recipe caffeine-free.
When combined with melted chocolate, the powerful allure of exotic spices with the sensual decadence of warm chocolate is a signature taste to savor any day. Chai and chocolate are a match made in heaven!
Yerba Mate is a traditional medicinal herb from South America known for enhancing stamina, detoxification, and weight loss. Combined with our lively masala chai spices, it makes a fortifying and uplifting brew.
Our slow steeped and micro-brewed chai concentrates are bottles ready to use with tea, spices, sugar, vanilla, and sea salt. Just add milk and heat, ice, or create! And a bottle of chai concentrate opens up a whole new level for ways to enjoy cha in cocktails, cooking, and baking!
Convenience: Simply combine with equal parts milk and heat or ice! Sweet and simple!
Creativity: A bottle of chai concentrate opens up a whole new level for ways to enjoy chai in cocktails, cooking, and baking! Chai concentrate can be used as a mixer for our Bourbon Chai Mule, Bourbon Milk Punch, and other recipes like Chai Fried Chicken! Your imagination is the limit!
Our chai tea sachet option is Soul Revival - an uplifting blend of turmeric chai and fair trade organic black tea from Assam, India, organic cinnamon, organic turmeric, organic cardamom, organic ginger, organic cloves. Interested in more tea sachet options beyond chai, our Rituals Collection brings you strength of body, mind, and spirit in 14 convenient plant-based organic tea sachets per box.
Convenience: Tea sachets are easily tucked into purses, briefcases, and luggage to enjoy wherever you go. Steep 1 tea sachet in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add milk and honey to taste.
Creativity: Enjoy Soul Revival with a personal ritual designed to rejuvenate and refocus your mental health and wellness. Sit and breathe deeply. Be still and allow your inner voice to guide you. Brush away any negative energy. Focus on positive words and thoughts, or turn on your favorite music and dance.
Loose leaf tea isn't intimidating at all, in fact, there's a beauty and freedom from using loose leaf options. It's easy, and in this video we show you how.
Of course, if you prefer it easy - then you'll LOVE our chai concentrate. It's so flexible and simply a matter of pour, heat, and stir. So easy and tastes delicious!
The wonderful benefit of South American yerba mate is now available as a chai blend. It's great for your body, energizing for an afternoon pick-me-up, and easy to make.
Our blend of original, freshly-ground masala spice with freshly-roasted, ground cacao nibs are a taste of tea nirvana, and perfect for a divine make-at-home moment of self-love.
Sometimes you crave the decadent spices of chai, but would really prefer something lighter. Try the Chai Sparkler - it's chai...with a little zing and a hint of fun!
What else can we say? Just the thought brings a smile to our faces.
There are so many reasons to love this inspiring tea.
There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy it!
We hope you learn to love it as much as we do.