REAL CHAI | HerCanberra

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Remember those old Remington shaver ads…”I liked it so much I bought the company”? Well, the Real Chai story runs along similar lines…just substitute delicious tea for razors and ‘built from the ground up’ for ‘bought’!

The Real Chai seed was planted 10 years ago when a young, enthusiastic girl (who’d never tried Chai tea in her life) ventured from Canberra to spend three weeks of her travels volunteering in the Czech Republic Forest.

After living in Teepees and bathing in the river for weeks, she was taken to a beautiful tea house where she indulged in her first cup of sumptuous Chai. And this is where it began- the love, the passion and the journey for Anthea Cahill aka ‘The Chai Girl’.

A Canberra local and former public servant, Anthea has transformed a magical liquid that she stumbled on during her adventures on the other side of the world (I’d call this fate) into a career and way of life. In less than a decade, Real Chai has grown into something bigger and more successful then Anthea ever thought possible.

I was lucky enough to meet with this amazing, inspirational, kind-spirited woman and chat all things Chai.

As I approached Anthea’s humble, chic home my senses came to life as I savoured the aroma of fresh, sweet, spicy Chai Tea simmered traditionally on the stove top. Find out how to make your own Chai by watching this handy video!

I was greeted by Anthea’s warm embrace which made me feel like I’d know her for years. Bearing a radiant smile and a saucepan full of deliciousness, she poured me a steaming hot cup of this delectable drink.

I took my first sip of my Chai, and as I listened to Anthea talk about her journey I could taste the flavours of the REAL chai bursting in my mouth. This was a new experience for me – very different to the syrup or powdered Chai I’ve tried in the past.

So, how does a Canberra girl become an authority on all things Chai?

After arriving back in Australia with her new found passion, Anthea started making Chai for her work colleagues. Their rapturous reposes led her to open a small stall at the local Gorman House Markets three years ago.

She sold hot Chai by the cup – converting passersby into automatic chaiddicts by tempting them to try her Chai made with real ingredients.

“I’ve never tasted Chai like this”, they would say. And she would respond “Well, that’s because this is real Chai!” And so Real Chai was born.

At the beginning of her business venture, Anthea was flying solo but she was soon approached by someone who offered her help, and who quickly became her first team member. Not long after, she took a leap of faith, quit her job, and has never looked back.

Today Real Chai has grown into a terrific, hard working tribe of 12 who are dedicated and determined to take the business to the next level.

They mix and package all the blends themselves at a local premise and now travel to various locations in Sydney and Melbourne. Chai tea is also available for purchase at selected stores in Canberra.

Anthea has turned her business into a great success with everything in place for Real Chai to soon become a franchise.

With three delicious flavours available including –  Original; Chocolate (real French chocolate chunks…oh yeah); and White Chocolate (white chocolate chunks, cranberries and nutmeg), Anthea has hopes to create a new flavour in time for Valentine’s Day. While she wouldn’t give away any hints there’s one essential ingredient that’s sure to be included – love!

Check out this awesome alternative to basic Creme Brulee. And for more information, recipes and tips on brewing the perfect cup of Chai visit


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4 Responses to REAL CHAI

Anthea says: 31 January, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hi Amelia
Thanks for your LOVELY article. It was a PLEASURE meeting you and sharing some chai. You’re a wonderful writer and a bubbly delight. Someone will be writing your story in a few years too! xx

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