Chai time: Bath-based Henny & Joe's decoct the perfect blend
Bath-based chai connoisseur Ashley Bailey worked in the hospitality industry for over ten years before deciding to strike out on his own with a secret, 100 per cent natural chai syrup recipe. Fed up with the additive and preservative-crammed alternatives of the traditional Indian drink on the market, he spent time perfecting his own blend before trialling it at various restaurants and cafes in his local area. Inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response and spurred on by a spate of orders, Bailey launched Henny & Joe's in 2013.
Naturally free from caffeine, artificial preservatives, colourings and additives, and handmade in small batches using traditional methods of decoction, Henny & Joe's rich brown chai syrup is created from a blend of aromatic whole spices: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, all spice, vanilla, star anise, nutmeg, fennel seed and mixed spice, as well as sugar and water.
Two years and numerous 'Taste of the West' gold medals later, the company supplies a growing number of specialty independent cafes and restaurants around Bath, Bristol and the South West. For aspiring chai wallahs who want to whip up a chai latte or chai tea at home without the hassle of brewing their own from scratch, bottles of the syrup can be ordered online. The more adventurous may like to use it as a baking ingredient, to make puddings and milkshakes or even create chai-based cocktails.
'H&J’s unique chai blend has been developed as a syrup for time efficiency as well as flavour,' says Bailey of his aromatic elixir. 'This is the perfect chai blend for contemporary living, while keeping the tradition of the drink alive.'