Sheeba Grover left a decade-long career in IT to share her love of tea with Calgarians. Originally from Mumbai, she is the founder of Chai Spice, a new stall at the Farmers & Makers Market. Chai Spice offers up different blends of authentic Indian tea (known as chai) using fresh, fragrant spices. The blends showcase strong-but-smooth flavours, unlike the watered-down versions of chai you’re likely to find at grocery stores or even some restaurants.
Chai is a cultural phenomenon in India, where most people have multiple cups of spicy, sweet, milky chai daily. Sheeba says, “Everybody gets together for tea, whether they are at the office or in their own home and friends come over and bond over a cup of chai.” Chai is usually made in a saucepan and Sheeba has created several videos demonstrating the proper method of chai-making for the silkiest, tastiest cup.
The stall’s most popular caffeinated blends are the Cutting Chai and Taprri Chai. Cutting Chai hails from Mumbai, where the term means a ‘half-cup’ of strong tea. Sheeba’s recipe uses traditional Assam black tea and generous amounts of cardamom and ginger crushed finely to produce a strong taste. It is the perfect afternoon drink. Sheeba’s favourite is the Taprri Chai, with taprri referring to India’s ubiquitous tea-stalls. It’s loaded with fennel, cardamom and ginger, among other spices. Chai Spice also offers a non-caffeinated traditional beverage called Ayur Shakti, which Sheeba affectionately dubs, “the chicken soup of India.” Ayur Shakti is a truly ancient drink, dating back thousands of years, and Sheeba’s version is a hearty blend of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and other spices.
Chai Spice | Farmers & Makers Market Sunalta and shop online | 647.326.7466 | chaispice.ca | IG: @thechaispiceofficial