The “Best” Chai
According to whom?
This is what crosses my mind when I see ads pop up from my fellow Chai companies touting their Masala Chai blends as being “the best in Australia”.
Taste is Subjective
Whilst flavour is a chemical experience on the senses, taste is deeply subjective. Your personal experiences and your genetic makeup affect how you react to various foods. Aside from some people being tea or coffee people, and people hating on chocolate (who even are you?), there are specific ingredients that draw wildly positive or negative reactions from people. Case in point – coriander.
The point is, no single Chai blend can satiate every Chai drinker’s palate equally. Ergo, your Chai blend cannot be the “best in Australia” simply because everyone experiences flavour differently. Our opinion is that if you've created a Chai blend that happens to appeal to everyone, chances are, you've made something bland and ordinary. That's not what The Chai Villain is about.
Chai is a Cultural Icon
From a cultural perspective, every single region in India (and Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Guyana, wherever people of historically Indian ethnicities now reside), every family and every chai-wallah or teh kadai has their own recipe and method of brewing Masala Chai. Masala Chai is not just a drink. It is a cultural icon, whose history is rooted in colonial violence.
To proclaim that you’ve cracked the code and developed the one Chai to rule them all is, frankly, arrogant. For a white-owned Chai company to do so, is an act of denigrating the culture from which you stole from and that you now profit off. That is a dick move.
No single Masala Chai sold commercially on the market today is objectively better than what chai-wallahs and teh kadais painstakingly prepare every morning, than what aunties serve their guests who drop in at tea time, than the family recipes handed down, than what my father used to make. Definitely not The Chai Villain's.
Here at The Chai Villain, we will never market our Chai as the “best”. Rather, we will proudly proclaim that we love it and many of our customers do too. If our customers believe that our Chai is the best they’ve ever tasted, that experience is their own and we value that, but we understand the subjectivity of something as personal as Masala Chai.