chai

If you’ve ever choked on a sickly-sweet cup of milk and sugar masquerading as chai, you’ll agree: a truly spicy, balanced masala is hard to find. Thank goodness for Tipu’s Chai, a vibrant and delicious line of tea blends concocted by Montana restauranteur Bipin Patel. In 1997, Patel began serving chai made from an old family recipe; it became so popular that he shut down his restaurant and started brewing tea full-time.

And the flavor is truly superior. If, like me, you’ve gotten used to those lackluster cafe blends, you’ll be delighted by the complex, spicy flavor and bold, gingery aroma of Tipu’s. It’s intense, peppery and warm, without becoming too hot or bitter.

tipu's chaiBetter yet, Tipu’s is made with organic ingredients, with some blends certified 100% organic.

I sampled the “Chai Now” blend, an instant, just-add-water latte that’s creamy, vegan-friendly and all natural, with non-GMO soy milk and evaporated cane sugar. I also had the chance to try the “Chai Now Black,” which lets you add your own milk and sugar. For purists, Tipu’s Chai makes “Slow Brew” blends in both regular and decaf, and a liquid concentrate that just requires milk. The “Chai Now” latte is a bit pricey for the convenience, but everything else is very fairly priced at well under $1 per serving.

Order Tipu’s Chai online, or find a cafe serving it near you. Or if you’re suddenly craving a cup right now, brew up this perfect chai latte recipe. And try our organic coffee recommendations for your guilt-free, daily pick-me-up.

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image: Raelene G