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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

It's the Most Wonderful Chai of the Year

Once the weather starts getting colder here in Austin — and by cold, I mean 60 degrees — nothing makes me feel as seasonally appropriate as a mug full of Chai tea. Warm spices like nutmeg and cardamom are just about all I need to channel Rosemary Clooney while living in such a warm locale. For those of you who might miss a little snow in your December, drink some chai and you’ll see what I mean. It’s like wearing your favorite mittens and you won’t even break a sweat!

With Chai tea, each spice adds a subtle flavor change, so steeping your own Chai can be a little tricky. An easier alternative is to use a Chai concentrate and I suggest checking out Third Street Chai’s Festivus flavor. Sold only during the holiday season, Festivus is micro-brewed with freshly milled organic spices, Fair Trade black tea and real cocoa. All it takes to prepare is a little shaking, a little warming and a little mixing with equal parts milk (or if you are like me, milk substitute). Spicy, cozy and delicious... puts me in a wassailing state of mind (or better yet, readies me for feats of strength).

Yes, for those of you who are curious, the Festivus name IS a nod to Seinfeld fans the world over!

Even better, Third Street Chai is a Whole Foods Market® Local Producer Loan Program loan recipient and one of the program’s many fantastic partners with great success stories. Third Street Chai opened their doors in Boulder, Colorado in 1995. At the time, chai was still relatively unknown in the US, but Third Street’s tea blends quickly gained a following in their hometown. It wasn’t long until Whole Foods Market put them on their shelves in Boulder and the rest of the Rocky Mountain region.

From its infancy to present day, Third Street Chai has been dedicated to environmental responsibility, Fair Trade sourcing and organics — they were the first Fair Trade Certified Chai AND the First Organic Certified Chai in the World — which is something we at Whole Foods Market are always excited to champion.

In 2011, Third Street received the Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program funds to build a bigger facility to keep up with their burgeoning popularity. Now Third Street can be found in all our US stores.

And for all of you Seinfeld fans, look closely on the bottle for all sorts of secret messages depicting some of your favorite episodes. It’s a Festivus miracle!

What drink gets you in the mood for the winter holidays (whichever one you’re celebrating)?