At MUD\WTR, the word chai has supplanted the word yeah. It takes some word-bending, but by walking around the office saying things like, 'chai believe this' or 'chai don't think so' it adds a dusting of silliness to the day, which always precedes lightning strikes of inspiration.
Masala Chai enthusiasts (like us) will debate its origins until the bitter end. Part of our team claims that it was first poured in Thailand, while others fire back that it originated in China sometime between 5,000-9,000 years ago. Debates can get heated here off Abbot Kinney.
But there is very little debate on why we added Masala Chai to your mug. With a wide blend of ingredients, you get a wide array of benefits. Crush ginger, cardamom, peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and bam, you’ve got a blend of masala spices. It’s wildly popular in India. The word “chai” literally means “tea” in Hindi, so when you add a little black tea (or any tea for that matter) to that masala, you get masala chai.
In 1835, the British set up tea plantations in Assam, India, however, chai was too expensive for the Indian proletariat and was primarily an export. By the early 1900s, the British-owned Indian Tea Association began to market chai within India and it started to catch on. By the 1960s, new technologies arrived that allowed for mechanized mass production and its popularity exploded. If you walk along the busy streets of Mumbai in the searing summer heat, you’ll see lots of street vendors called chai wallahs (tea people). A popular time for chai in India is around 4 p.m. with an afternoon snack.
Black tea puts the chai in masala chai, and yes, it has some caffeine. But the amount used in MUD\WTR is about 1/7th the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee because you don't need a flame thrower to light a candle.
Our philosophy on caffeine is similar to our philosophy on sunlight — a little is great, it wakes you up, keeps the depression demons at bay, and produces statements like, “Today is gonna be a good day.” Too much, however, can f*ck you up. Masala chai helps you get your day started with vigor while maintaining a Yoda-like state of relaxed awareness.