Frequently Asked Questions
Does Chai contain caffeine?
Our Uncaffeinated chai is completely free of caffeine
Our original blend does contain a high grade organic black tea which does contain caffeine. This is quite different to coffee in strength. The caffeine reaction in the body is far more subtle in comparison and black tea does not affect your adrenal system in the same way as coffee.
Where does the name Chai come from?
Chai is the Hindi word for tea which is a translation of Cha. In many of the northern regions of India, locals still refer to tea as Cha which was taken directly from China. Cha is the Mandarin word for tea and China is the country where tea originated with a history of cultivation over 3 millenia.
The proper term for what we make at Monk’s Chai is Masala (spicy) Chai. Masala Chai is typical spiced tea found across South Asia from Burma through to the Maldives. Masala in Hindi generally refers to a mixture of ground spices. Meaning Masala Chai translates to Spiced tea.
What is Chai tea?
It’s a redundancy in language and a juxtaposition that has become erroneously popular in occidental cultures. If you’re referring to Chai tea, you’re saying tea twice in two languages. The meaning of the word chai, at least in an occidental context, has evolved to ‘generally’ include masala chai as the meaning. At Monk’s Chai we refer to it as Masala Chai or just Chai.
If you call it Chai then why does it say Chai tea across different pages on your website?
While we refer to it as Chai, we're an inclusive team and we want to meet people where they at. People search for Chai tea and that's ok. Sure, it's not 'correct', but educating new friends along their journey into spiced teas is how we prefer to engage. That approach is more aligned to a heart of service, openess and generosity.
Where does Chai come from?
Masala Chai, as we know and love it, comes from India and is around 100 years old. Chaiwallas (Tea Vendors) would add freshly ground spices, as used in Ayurveda and traditional Islamic tonics to teas. Generally this was to cover the bitter flavour of inferior grade teas. 100 years ago, tea was quite new to India and was not yet of the high quality that we experience today nor was it an embedded part of the culture.
It’s such a nuanced and interesting story full of corporate impropriety, drugs, international espionage, out-right theft, rebellion and triumph. We highly recommend that you read this article if you are interested to learn more about the history of chai. It’s a large and complex history and we believe there are so many more layers of to it, but this story in the link below is an exceptional place to start:
From time to time we will update these links with new resources.
Where is Monk’s Chai made?
We source our specialty grade organic ingredients from all over the world but we blend and grind our spices by hand in Melbourne, Australia.
Is Monk’s Chai Vegan and Gluten Free?
Everything we ever make will always be plant-based and gluten free.
Why do you use Agave and not other sweeteners?
From a flavour standpoint, Agave is excellent as it’s a neutral sweetness. It acts as an outstanding natural binder for our Masala Chai blend and allows the natural flavours to come through on the palate. Also it's plant-based like us!
What is Monk’s Chai?
Monk’s Chai is a Masala chai blend by the award winning team behind Monk Bodhi Dharma cafe in Melbourne. Monk’s Chai pays respect to Asian and Indian Spiced tea traditions while using a contemporary approach to deliver a consistently excellent flavour.
How do you fulfill your shipping?
We use Australia post. We've tested out several different logistics companies and our experience has been that Australia Post offers the most reliable service with coverage, speed and tracking.
How does Monk's Chai address diversity?
As a company formed by people with diverse backgrounds, Diversity and Inclusion is something that we are adamant about. We offer our blends to market based on our company pillars of taste, ecology and humanity. Further we are implementing frameworks and benchmarks to measure and audit ourselves against these diversity standards. We are a small and nimble company and these systems are new but having a diverse and respectful workplace with strong and ethical suppliers is at the forefront of our approach to business. Monk's Chai is founded by POC, Political Refugees, and Immigrants. Our staff is equally diverse, covering several genders and a wide range of racial backgrounds. We believe that embracing diversity is important way to live and operate in the world. Living between cultures is exactly how we were raised and that is such a strength. We will put that strength of unique perspective and experience into our work. As an organisation, we will always trade within the market based on our reputation as tastemakers.
How does Monk's Chai address Sustainability?
We believe that doing good is good business and we want to make sure that we are doing our very best to check ourselves and continuously make improvements. To assist us in this process our directors have pledged to audit our business using a triple bottom line auditing framework. While this audit process is new within our organisation, our team has had direct experience running audits using these frameworks in the past. The framework audits around Profit, People, and Planet. If you are unfamiliar with this concept please see the link below for more information: