Hello Chai Lovers,
Another year has passed; another year has come and it is already February.
It truly has been a devastating few months as we continually witness the Australian bushfire catastrophe, but it is also a time that has given us the opportunity to see how humans care and become united when difficult times arise, and to reflect on our gratitude for all of the love and support we have received from people both domestically and around the world.
Speaking of gratitude, we are super excited and grateful since to have received the Innovation Award from the Melbourne Business Awards in November last year. What a great end to the year!
It was such a proud moment of recognition for our years of hard work and belief in our products and services. We are deeply honored to receive this prestigious award and we sincerely thank the whole team behind Prana Chai all over the world, as well as everyone who trusts and loves our chai.
This month we have lots of exciting news from Prana Chai, including meeting Koray, one of the founders of Prana Chai; a behind scenes look at the Melbourne Business Awards; an article discussing whole-leaf tea vs tea bags, and a recipe for Prana Chai mulled wine.
So, get cosy with your cup of chai and enjoy the February 2020 edition of Prana Chai Insider News.
Mario, Koray, Vincent and the whole Prana Chai family.
Prana Chai for your VALENTINE:
We think that Valentine's week is the most romantic time of the year! We are here to help you to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones (or for yourself—why not!). Explore our gifts collection and choose something that you can send to your special someone to make your day romantic. Make sure to start your browsing right away to avoid regrets at the last minute and to ensure guaranteed delivery for the special day!
Melbourne Business Awards: Innovation Award 🏆
We are so grateful to have received the Innovation Award from the Melbourne Business Awards.
What a great end to the year! The awards inspire and assist small-to-medium-sized companies, and enable engagement with other businesses as well as all levels of Government.
It was such a proud moment of recognition of our years of hard work and belief in our products and services. We are deeply honored to receive this prestigious award and we sincerely thank the whole team behind Prana Chai all over the world, and everyone who trusts and loves our chai.
Thank you 🙏
Meet the team - Koray
Tell us the milestones you and Prana Chai achieved in 2019.
We implemented a new sales strategy and action plan which has proved to be hugely successful. We have also created an entirely new website from which to reach our consumers, and of course, received the Innovation Award!
As well as all of that, we have become closer as a team. This year was the start of a huge transformation that will define the future character of Prana Chai.
We've recently received an innovation award from the MBA. How do you feel about it, and what you want to focus on and put more energy into in the coming years?
I feel happy. It won't change a thing in the eyes of the consumers, so we still need to improve and get better every day, but the award (coming from a group of business experts and professionals) gave me a sense of achievement and made me feel like we, as a team, must have been doing something right.
In the coming years, I want to focus on business-to-business relationships. Our wholesale customers are a huge part of what we do and are growing every day!
As we continue to grow I want to make sure that we can still provide our customary level of care; I do not want to automate communication. This is a service industry above all, and coming from within the industry we know that we need to be there when people need us and work around their schedule, not ours.
Do you have personal goals for 2020?
I will definitely focus on my health and flexibility because I feel like a walking stick.
Tell us your favourite dish for the festive season! if you have a recipe, please share it with us.
Well, I really enjoy Turkey's Black Sea anchovies. But sadly, I can’t have it here, due to logistics. They are a species native to the Black Sea I guess! They are in season right now so that would be my number one dish. They are very easy to cook. You eat them whole and they best with cornbread.
What fictional character do you identify the most with, and why?
Can I say the Silver Surfer? Because it was so mind-bending and cool reading the comic in the 80s back in Turkey. This question immediately brought back those memories where I used to sit on my grandparent's verandah and read for endless hours on hot summer days.
If you could go to any country, where would you go and why?
My first choice would be Sweden. I was just there for a little while for business and I wanted to explore more. The culture is so up my alley (at least that's how I felt) and they have vast stretches of nature to explore.
Whole-Leaf Tea VS Tea Bag?
As you have probably guessed, we only use whole-leaf tea in our blends and no tea bags.
‘Whole-leaf tea’ means tea that’s mostly made of whole and unbroken leaves.
Teabags are mainly made from the opposite, and utilise lower grades such asdust and fannings. Dust and fannings are smaller pieces of leaves. So, the most obvious difference between whole leaf tea and tea bags is the size and the shape of the leaf.
The problem with fannings
Tea leaves contain flavour compounds like tannins and essential oils which give aroma, body, and flavours. Just like coffee beans, when you roast and grind them they lose their freshness pretty quickly; tea leaves are the same. So when tea leaves are cut and broken into little pieces, they lose their compounds and dry out very quickly. If they dry out, they are not going to be as flavorful as they are when first harvested.
The reason why you should buy and drink whole-leaf tea
The particles get smaller when the tea leaves are broken and cut. This means that the bitterness of the tea leaves will become more prominent earlier.
When you steep tea in a teabag, the infusion is limited by the size and the shape of the bag. Packing whole-leaf tea into a standard tea bag won’t create a flavourful tea. The tea industry has been filling tea bags with smaller (broken) particles of tea so the surface area increases and quick infusion becomes possible. This makes the process easy and cheap enough for an average cuppa.
More recently, tea companies have been coming up with bigger and more spacious teabags with better quality tea leaves, to allow the leaves to expand more than in traditional teabags, thus creating a better brew. Despite innovations in tea bags, many of us stick with whole-leaf or loose-leaf tea instead of tea bag option. Why? Well:
1. The ritual
Tea is more than just a beverage; it is ritual during which we can slow down and reflect. We know a lot of Prana Chai lovers love not only the taste and aroma of our chai but the time they take to brew and pour into the cups. The whole experience counts!
2. Better taste
Despite all of the innovations in teabags, nothing can beat the fresh taste and aroma of chai brewed from loose-leaf tea. Flavourful tea needs plenty of room to dance and express the best possible flavour profile!
3. Artisanal approach to what we consume
As more of us grow to love specialty coffee and local food that we know comes from reputable sources, the same applies to chai and beyond. We don't want to just consume standardised products and want to know more about the impact on the earth and in society that we make by consuming certain products.
*Some types of tea (including Matcha) are broken during processing.
Prana Chai Recipe
A seasonal drink recipe with a chai twist! Make and serve this Chai Mulled Wine at all of your holiday parties and your guests will be blown away.The delicious flavours of aromatic cinnamon and ginger are perfectly complemented in this seasonal beverage.
- 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine, such as Merlot
- 1/3 cup honey or sugar
- 30g Prana Chai
- Juice of 1 medium orange
- 1 Lemon, sliced and de-seeded
- 1 Apple, sliced and de-seeded
- 30ml brandy
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Orange zest strips for garnish
- Place the fruit, wine, sugar and water into a large saucepan.
- Set the heat to a medium temperature and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Do not boil as this will reduce the amount of alcohol in the mixture.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the teabags for ten minutes.
- Pour the wine into mugs to serve. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavours will infuse!