Indian chai, chai, chai: A homage to the fuel on which the nation runs…

No one can really call themselves an Indiaphile without loving chai, the fuel on which the nation runs. Best drunk in the early morning from roadside stalls, piping hot from a cracked glass or pot. There’s some mysterious alchemy in the way the tea, milk, sugar and spices intermingle, becoming more than the sum of their parts. And then the satisfaction of smashing the clay pot on the ground, or tossing it from the train window, to degrade back into the earth in a matter of days. Alarmingly, people seem to be getting into instant chai these days, which is disturbing trend indeed. It’s best to brew it yourself from scratch, experimenting with the blend of spices best suited to your taste. If you have to buy it, however, we like the version at Leaf.

Set up in 2005, Leaf is an independent company specialising in ethically produced, loose leaf teas and infusions in resealable paper bags. Just the kind of company we like and, even better, they donate 10% of their profits after tax to charity or non profit projects.

Their masala chai is a spicy blend of black tea, cinnamon, aniseed, ginger, black pepper, cloves, chicory roots, cardamom seeds, cardamom pods. It’s £4 for 125g and you can buy it from Not on the High Street here.

You may also enjoy this witty blog Chai Pilgrimage which is an idea we wish we’d thought of ourselves. This crazy couple has geared their entire Indian travels to the theme of chai!