In India, Russia, Turkey and a host of other places, chai means tea. In the US, we say “chai” when referring to masala chai, a traditional Indian spiced tea.
Blue Willow Maple Chai comprises a complex blend of premium Estate teas and spices to recreate a classic Indian Masala Chai derived from a Himalayan recipe. The teas create a bold base that flourishes with the addition of spices. Cardamom, whole cloves, ginger root, cinnamon, whole star anise and allspice are freshly milled and blended in small, 60lb. batches in our warehouse. The exotic flavor combines a smooth taste of tea with invigorating spice. This recipe is lightly sweetened with pure maple powder, which is made by a small family sugar house in Vermont. While the tea in Blue Willow Maple Chai brings caffeine to the blend, the high proportion of spices dramatically lowers the caffeine content so the beverage has a soothing effect that is sure to warm the heart. Chai’s popularity, both iced and hot, has risen quickly and for good reason.
This loose puerh from Mangjing village is made up of leaf from several family's efforts to combine all of the old growth and feral tea growing in the mountains. The fog-covered hills are home to an incredible range of biodiversity, in which tea plants thrive in the mineral-rich soil that feeds the local ecosystem.
This tea was plucked and pile-fermented in 2015, and has been evolving in the years it has been aging. The liquor is a rich umber with a strong peat-like aroma. Each sip allows you to explore the depth and variety of flavors present in the leaf, from chocolate, to earth, wood, and notes of spice. The leaves can be re-steeped all day long and their warmth and smoothness have the effect of cultivating an inner, grounded energy.
Origin: Yunnan, China
Plucked from wild trees growing high on Ai Lao Mountain, this loose leaf shou cha is perfect as an introduction to puerh or as a refreshing breather for the afficionado. It has been sorted to include only the tips and has an effect that is clarifying and uplifting.
The first steep yields a bright and vivid infusion, with each consecutive cup reaching deeper notes of the leaf. The mineral content of the soil is prevalent in the cup with bright, energizing notes of copper, and grounding undertones of cocoa and damp earth. The liquor has a silky mouthfeel and leaves a lasting coolness in the throat, unusual for a tea of this style.
Origin: Yunnan, China
The tea leaves of Assam are large and thick when compared to the Chinese variety, which have been planted in most other regions of India. The resulting flavors derived from these plants are unique to the region, known the world over for being distinctively malty and bold, with a high note of astringency. We have found an excellent second-flush Assam, grown organically in the lush Brahmaputra River valley. The bright and brisk tea shows off the Assam characteristics with vigor and is a great way to get started in the mornings. Stands up well to milk and sugar, but delightful on its own as well.