When ordering a chai out on the town, you can never be 100% certain of what you will receive at the other end of the counter. I've had bland chai's, sugary chais and even the original Indian chai from a hunch-backed Chai Wallah on my train to New Delhi a few years back. All are comprised of selected spices
designed to seduce the palate. However, many modern chai's are a ghost of the brew that they are modelled on.
The brew that fuels the day of the locals of India (in a way that can only be compared with our worship of coffee in the Western world) has made its way to our shores, and is cropping up in cafes with ever increasing popularity. In fact, these days it is becoming quite rare to enter a cafe that doesn't serve chai.
If powdered chai is the fast food of the chai world, Calmer Sutra Chai would be a high end eatery. You'll find no instant boxed powder here. Lamps made from cinnamon quills hang in the shop window, bound together with twine. The entire store has a rich, heavy scent.
The hand ground, wet blend chai makes a rich infusion which sings of its Indian heritage. The unique method of infusion allows the flavours to seep out for maximum flavour. The natural ingredients are as follows: Freshly chopped ginger root, 8 mystery Indian spices, black tea leaves and pure Australian honey. Simple and gorgeous. No artificial colours or flavours and no sugar.
Being more focused on wholesale, there isn't really much in the way of a cafe. There is a cosy couch where you can drink the famous chai latte in tranquility and decided on how big a bag of chai you will walk out with. The chai is made with soy so it is a vegan friendly beverage. There is no doubt that once you taste the secret formula you will be hooked for life.
Traditional Tin Tea Pots
Chai is a healthy alternative to coffee. It has minimal caffeine content when compared with coffee. Many of the spices that make up chai not only taste great, but are also good for your body. For example, cinnamon is known for increasing circulation and decreasing fatigue. Cardamom is said to be a mood elevator and aid digestion. Cloves are renowned for their antiseptic properties and ginger is well known for its ability to ease indigestion and nausea.
When you take your bag of fresh Calmer Sutra Chai home (because you will walk out with a bag whether or not you planned to) there are a set of brewing instruction in the bag to guide your path as you prepare your own exotic chai.
Although the packet containing the wet concoction of dense spices and honey looks like it may be a bit of a mission to make at home, it is surprisingly easy and not nearly as time consuming as one would expect.