Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Organic Chai for the Caffeine Sensitive.....in Vermont

Always on the search for divine, but caffeine-free beverages (as opposed to decaffeinated which usually have a tiny amount of caffeine—enough, sadly, to set me off), I have happily found my replacement for chai tea, a particular favorite of mine.

As I have been working on my new Green Travel App for Vermont foods and eateries I have found some wonderful products, including much to my delight, Chai Wallah. Tucked away in southern Vermont, Neil Harley uses his experiences as a chef and world traveler to create authentic chai teas and spices. Chai Wallah is certified as an organic processor, since they use only certified organic and fair-trade spices and teas grown by indigenous farmers around the world. Without Neil and his expert blending, my chai would not be the same.

The recipe is simple—brew up a pot of Rooibos tea (pronounced roy-bus), a South African legume tea. My favorite brands are Equal Exchange and Chai-Wallah, both organic and fair-trade.

To the Rooibos tea add 1 teaspoon of Chai-Wallah's Chai Spice-Only (sans organic teas).

I let it steep and then,  hmmm…. enjoy with no ill-effects. Thank you Neil for making a tremendous chai-spice blend for those of us who need to (regrettably) abstain from caffeine. For a milky version add your favorite organic milk (cow, goat, soy, rice or other).*

If you are on the road and want to enjoy some of Chai-Wallah's offerings you can find their products at the Brattleboro Food Co-op in Brattleboro, Vermont, where they sell the dry mixes in the bulk department and serve freshly made Chai-Wallah at the deli, available with soy or cow's milk.

*The soy milk I recommend is Vermont Soy Plain soy milk which is prepared from Vermont-grown, organic and GMO-free soy beans. The Unsweetened "flavor" has no sweeteners or flavors and has the highest protein content so also the highest isoflavone content—phytonutrients which some women find helpful with their menopausal symptoms.

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