When it comes to chai, local tea makers Katie Ames, Tommy Winant and Joel “Windfox” Boyle don’t cut any corners. Through their year-and-a-half old business, AppalaChai, the three owners are committed to their mission of honoring the tea’s ancient Indian roots.
When ordering a chai in the Western world, a customer may receive any number of concoctions. A simple black tea with spices is one possibility, but it is significantly more likely that the beverage will be prepared with a powdered mix of sugar and corn syrup solids, with tea nowhere to be seen on the ingredient list. Fortunately for Asheville residents, local businesses are taking the making of chai back to the basics.