TRAVELERS Masala Chai
"the true taste of India" - since 1998
Back in 1998 we began brewing a quiet revolution from our shop on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Real Indian-style masala chai, made with the finest traditional spices and richly flavored Assam tea. Other companies popularized "chai tea," often mass-produced with flavor extracts, or using non-traditional ingredients, they lacked the satisfying taste of the best masala chai we had in India. We set out to remedy that, brewing chai for customers, one gallon at a time, on a hot plate in the back of the shop. Soon our chai had a devoted following, and its popularity has continued to grow ever since.
Nowadays we brew in bigger pots, on a six-burner commercial gas range in the kitchen of our Beacon Hill restaurant, but nothing else has changed. We sill use the finest organic spices, and the same delicious Assam tea. The entire process is still done by hand, to produce a true artisinal chai that delights customers at the Thali House, and at an ever-growing number of Seattle's best restaurants and espresso/tea shops.
Chai means "tea" in Hindi. It can be as simple as tea leaves steeped in hot water, but more often it is black tea with milk and sugar.
Masala means "spice," or "spiced," which is why we prefer to call our product Masala Chai.
We use only the finest spices in TRAVELERS Masala Chai
all certified organic (subject to availability)
Ceylon Cinnamon - Cinnamomum verum, we use only 'true cinnamon," from the island nation of Sri Lanka. It has a smoother, softer finish, with a full rich cinnamon taste and less heat than the cassia sold as cinnamon in American grocery stores. Fair trade certified.
Green Cardamom - Elettaria cardamomum. This aromatic and expensive spice is used so much in South Asia that they have to import it from Guatemala, which is where our gorgeous cardamom originates as well.
Ginger Root - Zingiber officinale, chopped and dried, 'tea cut,' near the fields where it is grown in China, ginger root is an essential flavoring in chai that warms the body and sooths the stomach.
Clove Buds - Syzygium aromaticum, also from the spice island of Sri Lanka, is certified organic.
Fennel Seed - Foeniculum vulgare. Just a hint is cooling and soothing to digestion (Turkey).
Black Pepper - Piper nigrum, from southern India, warms the cup, but a light touch is enough.
Nutmeg - Myristica fragrans, from Sri Lanka, gives a deicious whisper of fragrance.
How to Brew TRAVELERS Masala Chai
You will need:
1.5 oz. TRAVELERS chai masala (tea spice) - about 1/2 cup
9.0 oz. sugar - about 1-1/4 cup
1 gallon water
1.5 oz. Assam tea
Place chai masala and sugar in a large saucepan. Pour one gallon cold water over both and place on stove. Cover and slowly bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice to dissolve sugar. When mixture comes to a full rolling boil, turn off heat and leave covered for 15 minutes. Next, stir in Assam tea, cover, and steep for 15 additional minutes. Filter and serve, or let filtered chai cool and keep in fridge for later consumption.
Chai is traditionally served hot with milk, but have it your way. It's delicious with soy, rice, almond, or other milk substitute. Try it iced, or even frappeed. For an exotic twist, add a splash of rose water.
TRAVELERS Masala Chai is served at...
Capitol Hill Coffee Works - 907 E Pike St (Capitol Hill)
Cascade Coffee Works - 1130 Thomas St (South Lake Union)
Floret - Main Concourse, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Chai in Bulk - available retail or wholesale
at TRAVELERS Thali House on Beacon Hill
We brew our chai fresh every week to distribute to our wholesale customers, but we keep a few bottles on hand for retail customers as well. Come on by (Wed. through Sun. 12-9pm), or call us at (206) 329-6260
Pre-brewed, ready to drink
Gallon bottle - $20 ($4 refundable bottle deposit)
Half Gallon - $10 ($3 deposit)
2 Gallon Chai Kit - $12.50 (just add sugar and water)
1 Gallon Chai Kit - $6.50
Chai Masala (spice blend only) - $3.50 per oz. (20% discount on lbs.)
Photo by Mark Stanley, 2015