In Zanzibari households, dinner is often referred to as ‘Chai’. Though food is of course involved, and varies from day to day, the one constant on nearly every Zanzibari dinner table is the tea.
To us, Chai forges a sense of community and belonging, and how it’s made is essential in understanding familial identity and heritage.
This is my grandmother (Bibi’s) recipe. Her name was Nuru but we all called her Habibti which translates to ‘loved one’ in Arabic. I hope it evokes within you the same sense of lasting comfort and joy as it has to my family and I for generations.
The spices in this chai blend are sourced from our partner smallhold farmer cooperatives in Zanzibar. The black tea comes from a tea estate high up the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania where they have grown their tea organically for many decades.
We hope you enjoy my grandmother’s interpretation of Zanzibar in a cup.