Native to Kerala in southern India, black pepper has been traded for ages for its use as a spice and for medicinal reasons. Black pepper provides a spicy kick to foods with just a sprinkle in its ground form. As for health, it aids in digestion, can provide respiratory relief, and acts as antioxidant against free radicals that can attack healthy cells in the body.
Another spicy addition to the mix, ginger is a flavorful spice that adds an aromatic and pungent kind of flavor. It's medicinal properties include gastrointestinal relief including dizziness, vomiting and nausea as well as arthritis relief due to its anti-inflammtory characteristics.
Cinnamon is another antioxidant-packed spice that contains polyphenols that protect cells from damage. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well and can lower blood sugar levels.
Its sweet/spicy flavor is warming and it can be used instead of a sweetener in hot drinks and baked goods.
Nutmeg is a spice best used in small amounts, but even used sparingly this spice's list of health benefits can pack a punch! Nutmeg can help with overcoming insomnia, promoting healthy blood circulation, can help dissolve kidney stones, and is even known to help eliminate bad breath, amongst many other benefits.
Cardamom is known to be one of the most expensive spices in the world- third only to Saffron and Vanilla! It has a unique and bold flavor that is often central and vital to chai. Its medicinal uses include the treatment of gum and teeth infections, lung congestion, and digestive disorders. Cardamom also helps to break up kidney and gall stones.
Cloves are arguably the perfect warming spice. They come from a type of tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia and have a flavor that is pungent and sweet, but can also be a bit astringent. This strong taste comes from a compound called Eugenol found in cloves, which allows cloves to be a natural antiseptic (giving cloves some natural preserving properties) and gives it its anti-inflammatory properties. Clove oil is often used for toothaches and cinnamon and nutmeg also contain Eugenol which is why these flavors can often be found in mouthwashes and toothpastes!
camellia sinensis var. assamica
We use a premium brand Orange Pekoe black tea from the upper regions of Assam in India. This tea is rich in flavor and is processed using the Crush Tear and Curl (CTC) method which is responsible for its granule form.
Along with providing calming and relaxing benefits, black tea helps promote healthy digestion. The low amounts of caffeine in black tea provide a boost in energy without over-stimulating the heart.
We here at One Stripe wanted to keep away from refined sugars that provide minimal health benefits and just taste sweet. After much deliberation and lots and lots of taste testing to get the perfect amount of sweetness that complements our spices without overpowering them, we landed on a perfect mix of jaggery (unrefined palm sugar) and local clover honey.
Jaggery (called gurh in Hindi) is often used in chai and sweet and savory dishes in India. It has a buttery caramel flavor that compliments well with the clover honey. The unrefined nature of both sweeteners allow them to better retain vitamin