Chai’s always a brewing at 4pm every day at Y Studios.
Making and drinking chai has become a daily ritual for us – a reset of calmness amidst frenetic schedules and crazy deadlines, an essential ambrosia for the creative mind.
We love chai so much that we indulged in an ultimate passion project when we designed Chime, the first automated chai maker for Camellia Labs.
For those uninitiated, making chai is a meticulous process that takes a lot patience and involves getting the ingredients, proportions and timing right. It is also a unique experience that requires a watchful presence to slowly make the perfect cup of chai.
Chai-making is a quiet moment, a reason to slow down. It is a meditative state of mind that has become part of our philosophy in life and in our creative work – to be mindful, to be present, to be patient, and to be precise.
So, how did our love affair with chai begin?
Well, it came from a humble beginning.
When our founder, Wai, first moved out to California after graduation in the mid-nineties, it was during the first dotcom boom and affordable rentals were hard to find in Palo Alto. For the first few months, Wai had briefly lived in the storage room of a friend’s Indian restaurant which was conveniently located near GVO where he worked. While not an ideal accommodation at the time, it turned out to be a life-changing happenstance where he got to learn how to make masala chai from Prakash, the Indian cook. Since then, Wai’s been making chai every morning and afternoon.
A slow chai makes a good chai – take your time to make the perfect cup. Enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CUP OF CHAI
Courtesy of Chai Master Wai
To make one cup of chai
Half a cup of water
Half a cup of milk
2 tsp of loose tea (we like Brooke Bond Red Label Black Tea)
1–2 tsp of sugar (or substitute with honey to add after tea is done)
1/4 tsp of chai masala (available at any Indian grocery stores or make your own)
1–2 pods of cardamom (optional)
Add water, tea, sugar, masala and cardamom in a pot then bring to a rigorous boil. Add milk then bring to boil again. Watch that it does not boil over! Pour tea over strainer into cups and serve.
Make your own chai masala
Chai masala is a fragrant blend of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper. Mix all the spices together and store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry area.
3 tsp grated fresh ginger or ginger powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
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