Typical values per 100g
Energy Kj 1046
of which saturates 1.1g
of which sugars 2.3g
Chai is a traditional soothing drink which has been enjoyed in cultures for thousands of years. It is often taken with tea as a beneficial beverage, particularly after a meal.
In our blend of aromatic spices, each one brings its own flavour to drinks and food, resulting in a warming, rich and spicy taste.
The spices in our Chai Mix are grown in the Kerala region, known as ‘India’s Spice Garden’. Our producer works with local farmers throughout the entire growing process to help make farming a viable option, including education in sustainable organic farming methods.
Simply stir our Chai Mix into your favourite tea for a deliciously warming and soothing drink.
We’ve left it up to you to choose the tea so that you have the option to keep it caffeine free and whether or not to sweeten it.
Alternatively, use as flavoursome rub or marinade for vegetables, meats and fish or use in granola for a spicy twist.
Lucy Bee Chai Mix is a blend of organic spices: True Cinnamon; Ginger; Cardamom; Nutmeg; and Clove.
The spices which make up our Chai Mix are all Fair Trade certified, so that those workers and farmers who produce them directly benefit.
This Fair Trade premium is used for various sustainable projects, such as:
As you now know, our delicious Chai Mix is grown and produced in Kerala, India. Once known as Keralam, this beautiful region is a renowned spice producer (dating all the way back to 3000 BCE) and is based in South India, on the Malabar coast.
Way back when, Kerala’s booming spice trade attracted Portuguese spice traders, even paving the way for European colonisation of India. In fact, it’s still known as the Spice Garden of India, or the Garden of Spices.
Now, it has a huge variety of influences and even has newspapers published in nine different languages, including English and Malayalam, the official language of the state.
Spread over 15,000 square miles, Kerala is only India’s thirteenth largest state (by population, at least – even though 33 million people live there!) and is bordered by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the Lakshadweep Sea. There are 14 districts in Kerala (it’s more like its own little country), although the capital is Thiruvananthapuram.
Known for its backwaters, breath-taking beaches, Ayurvedic traditions and tropical greenery, it’s perhaps unsurprising that tourism is a huge part of life here. Kerala also enjoys a tropical climate, where you can expect monsoons and up to 140 days of rain each year.
History and Politics:
As with much of India, Kerala is steeped in legend. According to Hindu mythology, Kerala was dragged from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior, Parasurama. After rising from the sea, the land was filled with salt and unfit for habitation, which angered the snake King Vasuki. Vasuki then spat holy poison across Kerala, turning the previously infertile soil into lush, green land.
After becoming known for its fragrant, perfect spices, Kerala attracted all sorts of ancient communities to its soils – Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians all flocked here. In later years, the coast became a spice hunting ground for the Greeks and Romans, who particularly loved the black pepper.
Eventually, other Asian and European communities built up their own coastal posts and settled in Kerala. In fact, Kerala became so diverse that it’s thought that India’s earliest mosques, synagogues and churches were built here.
Years later, and the Arabs dominated the spice trade monopoly in Kerala, or at least until the European Age of Discovery, when traders in Europe (and, in particular, the Portuguese) flocked here to enjoy their share.
The Portuguese eventually came to be ousted by the famed Dutch East India Company, who gained control after many battles. However, further battles left the Dutch weakened, and the British East India Company soon rose to prominence.
In 1766, Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore – a Kingdom in Southern India – invaded northern Kerala and launched the Anglo-Mysore wars, fighting against the British East India Company. Ultimately, he failed and, by the end of the 18th century, the whole of Kerala was under British control.
However, the move for independence came about in the 20th century, seeing huge revolts across the region. There were even social caste problems and riots between Muslims, Hindus and the British Raj. By 1949, British India became split into India and Pakistan, and the state of Kerala was eventually formed. Currently, Kerala is run by the United Democratic Front with a representative democracy.
In recent years, Kerala’s economy has been ever-growing – more so than India’s own economy. However, this luscious state relies mainly on its workers heading to the Gulf states for work and sending home money.
The region’s economy is mainly dependent on the service industry – things such as transport, storage, communications and tourism – to make up its money, although nearly half of the population depends on agriculture alone for income.
You see, Kerala is a huge producer of rice (they harvest an amazing 600 varieties here), while they also harvest coconut, tea, coffee, cashews and spices (particularly black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg) here. Meanwhile, the coast provides plenty of catches for the one million fisherman dotted around Kerala, who catch around 668,000 tonnes of fish each year.
Happily, perhaps thanks to the economic boom, rural poverty has also dropped massively in Kerala in recent years (from 59% in the 70s to 12% by 2010).
Although it’s home to just 2.6% of India’s population, Kerala is three times as densely populated as the rest of India. However, it also has the highest life expectancy in the entire country (77), and the lowest number of homeless living in rural areas.
The majority of Keralites – 31.8 million, to be precise – are Malayali, with most speaking Malayalam, the region’s official language. However, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali and other tribal languages are also widely spoken.
Although much of India experiences widespread sectarianism, Kerala is far more diverse and accepting. More than half of Kerala’s population are Hindus, with just over a quarter Muslim and 18% Christian.
Happily, Kerala is also one of the cleanest and healthiest places around (it’s the cleanest state in India), with some even saying that residents here are healthier than in many states of America.
Perhaps because of this, Kerala has the lowest rates of infant death in the country. Here, as well as modern medicine, traditional Ayurvedic and alternative medicines are also popular across the state.
On the flipside, many communities (three million people, in fact) rely on water wells, which lead to widespread diseases, including diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid. This is one of the many reasons why we are so passionate about our Fair Trade supporting water conservation in the area.
Thanks to its huge mix of influences, Kerala is massively cosmopolitan and there are more than 10,000 festivals each year. The area is also known for its distinctive art, literature, dance and architecture.
Elephants take pride of place out here, with these beautiful animals known as “the sons of sahya”. As the state animal of Kerala, they’re also featured on the government emblem.
Kerala also happens to be a food lover’s dream and has a huge mix of meat, fish and veggie dishes – often with a big mountain of rice, too! Because spices are so abundant here, cooks and chefs tend to add them to all sorts of dishes, so you can expect plenty of exotic and interesting flavours.
For breakfast, Keralites will usually eat a rice-based dish (think tapioca or vada, a savoury fritter) accompanied by chutney, egg masala or a meat or fish curry. Lunch dishes will go much the same way, with many enjoying rasam, a traditional soup, sambar, a vegetable-based stew, or sadhya, a veggie meal served on a banana leaf. Beloved snacks here including banana and tapioca chips.
Happily, literacy rates in Kerala are sky-high (93.91%) and, in the 90s, it became the first state in India to be considered as completely literate. Kerala also tops India’s Education Development Index, with almost 100% of villages in the region having easy access to a primary school.
Students must go to school for ten years (seeing them through lower primary, upper primary and secondary schools), before many will then enrol into higher secondary schooling. Here, they will learn liberal arts, commerce or science, before moving on to professional or under-grad schemes.
Meanwhile, women in Kerala take pride of place – literally! Perhaps because women are the traditional heads of the household in Kerala, females have a high standing in society. Because of this, there are plenty of opportunities for women, both in education and in work.