Our Heartbeat’s Strong!
Through Between the Leaves, we begin to spotlight our thoughtfully curated loose leaf tea blends from single-origin ingredients. Meet Heartbeat: inspired by the flavors of Indian masala chai and integral to rhythm of life in the subcontinent.
Masala chai is a hot tea beverage made with boiling tea and spices with milk. While the drink is rooted in India’s colonial history and culture, it is enjoyed throughout South Asia and by its diaspora. Adding spices to tea served with milk is a tradition believed to have begun as a response to the British colonial rule in India. The best and whole leaf varieties of tea grown in the hills of Assam were consumed by the British and the Indian elite leaving the lower grades for the rest of the Indian population. Spices were popularly added to make bitter and strong concoctions of low grades of tea flavorful. At present, not only every culture, region or household, but even individuals across South Asia are said to have their own recipe for chai.
Green cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fennel and black pepper together make up a common blend of ‘chai masala’ used in brewing of chai. However, preferences for spices in chai differ and are also seasonal. DONA Loose Leaf Heartbeat combines the sweet, fruity flavor of cardamom, the warm, sharp notes of ginger with bold and malty *CTC tea leaves. The blend brews a comfort *cuppa in addition to foregrounding the diverse histories of families, cultures and nations in the South Asian subcontinent.
*CTC, also known as crush, tear, curl, is a method of processing black tea through which whole tea leaves are reduced to granular, hard pellets.
*cuppa (n): informal British slang used to refer to a cup of tea (fancy a cuppa?); also an informal version of “cup of”.