One of our main goals at Hot Yoga Nottingham is to provide a mindful, authentic space to practice yoga and calm your body, breath and mind. To improve our space further, we’ve recently added an exciting new development – and we can’t wait to share more information with you. We want Hot Yoga Nottingham to be more than just a yoga venue. We want it to be a retreat, a place you can come to relax, work, socialise and unwind – which is why we’ve created a wonderful new Hot Chai Lounge right next to our studio.
What is chai?
Chai is an integral part of daily life across India. However, authentic chai is a far cry from the chai lattes from high street coffee shops you might be familiar with. Chai is actually the Hindu word for tea, which is derived from the Chinese word ‘cha’. Masala chai (spiced tea) and garam chai (hot tea) are traditionally made from black tea leaves mixed with a concoction of fragrant spices. The recipes for chai vary, but the spices most commonly include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and black peppercorns.
The drink originated thousands of years ago – and has been a crucial part of daily life in India ever since. Legend says that it was created by a king as a healing, cleansing drink – although the stories surrounding its history vary. Tea used to be so much more than just a beverage to be enjoyed – spices were used for different healing purposes in Ayurveda, making chai a highly nourishing drinkNowadays, chai is most often served as a milky tea – but the addition of milk and sugar came quite a while after the drink was originally conceived. Adding milk became a great way to use less of the expensive tea, helping the beverage go further while keeping costs nice and low. Chai became a huge part of daily life throughout the country – chai wallahs served chai to the public, it was used to welcome guests into the home, and was drunk by families multiple times a day.
Finding authentic chai in the West
Chai has grown into a popular drink throughout Western countries – but not in its original form. Despite its rich history and important place in Indian culture, traditional chai is rarely seen in English coffee shops and cafes – instead, it’s been adapted into dirty chais, chai lattes, and hybrids like chai hot chocolates. Our mission is to bring the taste of authentic chai into Nottingham – coupled with our restorative hot yoga, we want to create a unique haven in the city centre.
In our next blog, we’ll delve deeper into chai’s ingredients, and unpick more of the fascinating process that goes into creating India’s favourite drink. Join us at our opening evening on Friday 1st November to sample some of our magical traditional chai – along with live music and plenty of other delicious hot beverages and snacks, too.
Our launch party will take place in the brand new Hot Chai Lounge (inside Hot Yoga Nottingham) from 19:00 – 21:30. We can’t wait to see you there – in the meantime, follow us on Instagram to keep up to date with everything going on.