Originally published 11/9/2019. Updated 3/9/2022.
For us, chai is so much more than a drink...chai is an art form. Chai is friendship and health and connectedness just as much as it's the warm taste of exotic spices. What started as a passion has evolved into a worldwide movement. We’re committed to nothing less than producing the best-tasting chai in the world.
The Firepot chai lineup has also grown over the years and now includes loose leaf chai, chai concentrate...and for those on-the-go...our portable tea sachet, Soul Revival. We’ve diversified as well, offering masala chai, rooibos chai, chocolate chai...and the newest member of our chai family...yerba mate chai. Even with all that expansion, we remain true to our roots of sustainably sourced, high-quality, organic tea and hand-blended and freshly ground spices. As a result of this commitment, Firepot supports organic and Fair Trade practices and donates one percent of all sales to the empowerment of women and preservation of wildlife in tea origins. The growers and communities we source from have become our extended family. That's why our production process is about more than just producing a healthy and delicious drink. For us, chai is a way of life.
The origin of Firepot's Classic Chai
Firepot was born in a little Tibetan teahouse adorned with hand-painted floors and prayer flags. There were always momos steaming, incense burning, and people sipping hot mugs of chai. That was in 2001 when I was working at the Tibetan Trader and Teahouse in Bozeman, Montana. I would walk through the snow to the teahouse to spend early mornings grinding whole spices and then boiling them with organic black tea, raw sugar, vanilla, and milk.
Once the teahouse closed its doors, I continued grinding, boiling, and slow cooking the spices and tea to serve the Bozeman community, which was mourning its beloved chai.
Over the past 18 years, I have honed the recipe, removing ingredients like star anise and orange peel, increasing the amount of cardamom and overall strength, and choosing just the right tea to bring the blend to life (organic Rwandan!).
Firepot's classic chai blend today
Today, when I walk into our St. Louis chai microbrewery, the distinct smell of Firepot chai in the kettle floods me with more than 20 years of warm and vibrant memories. The process has not changed, though it has expanded quite a lot!
From sourcing the best whole organic spices, hand-blending them in-house, and then grinding them carefully to just the right size, our masala (spice blend) is still the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with our secret ingredient (coriander seed) synergizing and amplifying the blend!
At just the right times and for just the right lengths of time, each ingredient goes into the pot—masala, black tea, vanilla, and a tiny bit of salt and lemon, just like at the teahouse. We steep the brew slowly for extra potency and add just enough sugar to make the whole thing sing! This is not the overly sweet, watered-down chai you buy in a box!
Once it is ready, we bottle the concentrate so that you can enjoy the taste and experience the vibrant feeling that has fueled the growth of Firepot over the years, allowing us to effect positive change and connecting tea lovers with tea growers to improve the lives of both!
So you can be sure that we will remain dedicated to all things chai. We will remain loyal to the growers across the world that we now call friends, and will gratefully give back to support their dreams at home.
Won't you join us in lifting our steaming mug of chai in tribute to what once started as an afternoon getaway and has grown to become a global obsession?