It’s been an exciting 2 years since we opened up our first cart at 545 Market St. The support we got from our early customers confirmed my belief that SF really needed good chai! Since then I have opened up 2 other carts downtown, at 298 Market St and 480 California St. Nothing makes me happier than to see customers, like you, return on a regular basis to get chai. I hope the love, passion and pride with which we make our chai every day comes through in every cup.
When I was first started The Chai Cart in 2010, I started with two simple flavors, ginger and cardamom. Ginger chai was simple to make as I grew up drinking it, and it was the first thing I learned how to make in the kitchen from my mom. Cardamom is another very common spice used for chai.
If variety is the spice of life, then our Masala chai definitely gives it all its zest. Our signature Masala spice blend has an array of tastes, ranging from the floral, sweet and aromatic notes from cardamom to the licorice taste of the fennel and the spicy, woody tones from dried ginger and black peppercorns. Not only do these spices provide an abundance of flavor, they’re brimming with powerful antioxidants and various healing properties.
Here are a few facts I dug up on some of the spices we use in our Masala chai.
We brew our chai with either organic whole milk and organic soy milk (for customers who do not drink/eat diary). Almost everyday, we get a customer requesting chai with non-fat milk or 2% milk. As much as we would like to give customers exactly what they want, we cannot. Mainly b'coz we don't make chai on-site; all our chai is brewed at a commercial kitchen in the Mission and we transport it to the chai carts downtown in insulated containers that keep it hot for several hours.
So much has happened since my last blog post. The biggest & most exciting news has been getting the permit for the cart. Finally The Chai Cart® (the company) has a fully permitted chai cart. We operate the cart seven days a week, and only take a break when it’s raining. The two chaiwallas I’ve hired, Will and Dennis, manage the cart so I get to do other stuff , like write this blog.
A couple weeks back, I got a call from a marketing manager of En Point Technologies- a tech company based in Southern California. They had heard about The Chai Cart and asked if they could sponsor my cart at an event.
It is estimated that 40% of the waste we produce comes from packaging. Creating minimal waste is one of the values I believe in and wanted to instill it in my business.
I've heard many people say that one of the main reason they don’t drink chai is b’coz it is way too sweet. This is true if the only chai you’ve had is at cafes. Most cafes use a chai concentrate as a base to make their chai or chai latte - which is always loaded with sugar. I looked for unsweetened chai mixes, but didn’t come across any. I started to wonder why that was the case. There could be several reasons; here are the most likely ones:
The best cup of chai is one that you make - as you will make it just the way you like it.
We offer classes that provide a deeper understanding of chai - its history and cultural roots, methods of preparation, and how to choose its main components – tea, spices, milk.