The open forum of a marketplace provides a refreshing getaway from shopping aisles. Each venue offers a unique setting that may include activities for children, live entertainment, and an array of foods. The curious shopper discovers she has direct access to fresh and locally grown fruits, herbs, flowers, and vegetables, dairy-based products, proteins, homemade goodies, and artisan-based, handmade crafts. The welcoming man, woman, or couple behind the table provides a small sampling of popular items. Whether you are a first-timer or repeat customer, take the time to introduce yourself, ask questions, and inquire if owners receive visitors, offer a produce box, or have a farm store. The answer may be “yes” or “it’s coming soon!”
Cobblestone Farmer’s Market
For almost a decade, Chad’s Chai has been a mainstay at Cobblestone Farmer’s Market! From 9:30 AM to noon, visitors aiming to find comforting tastes should stop by the booth featuring a fragrant selection of freshly brewed tea. Micah will gladly assist in making a recommendation if you do not have a favorite! Perhaps the suggestion may be “CPR,” a lavender and basil matcha, or February’s featured “Chai Ya Yai,” a more intense and spicey take on their original Black Chai.
Poker Game, a Wedding, and a Pub
As Chad Morris and Thomas Lees discuss their plans for opening a tea shop in late spring, reflection opens the door to positive memories and a continued belief in how the power of tea brings people together. Twenty-two years ago, Chad experienced the magical combination of witnessing the socializing effects of Chai tea in an informal setting of friends. To recreate the moment, he purchased an array of Indian spices and began crafting original recipes. Chai Tea, of course, is the ideal complement to a wedding setting; therefore, Chad gladly agreed to serve his blends and offer party favors. The decision was inevitable; life’s pathway did not lead towards a youth international missions’ worker, but a businessman. Within a few months in 2006, friendly banter at a poker game led to an extraordinary proposition. Chad couldn’t turn down the opportunity to become the tea guy for an Irish pub. The partnership resulted in one of Winston-Salem’s favorite blends–“Finnigan’s Wake Up.”
Imagine a symphony, notes of high and low chords ascending into the air. And then, a high-end sparkle—the cymbals crash! “Blending tea is very much like making music,” shares Chad. “I think about how I’m going to take the main flavor, such as chamomile, which has earthy, round flavors; then, I consider what would offer a contrasting note, such as the warmth of ginger or intricacy of lavender. We perform a lot of taste tests. The look on people’s faces defines why I love creating teas. Chad’s Chai offers a unique opportunity for a never-ending tea party. And, when you have something great, isn’t it worth sharing with friends?” Fortunately, thanks to the unique blends of spices and herbs, each cup of Chai contains therapeutic properties to benefit the drinker! Bottoms up!
A Future Vision
Co-owners Morris and Lees foresee the establishment of a physical location, Chad’s Chai Tea House, which will have tall walls, great natural light emanating through live greenery, floor seating, and a small stage. The ambiance will offer comfortable and cozy loveseats, front and back patios, all for the enjoyment of sitting and enjoying good company and delicious tea! In addition, they anticipate the return to “Tea 101” and “Tea Blending” classes. “We are grateful to the Winston-Salem area; they have embraced Chad’s Chai, enjoyed, and celebrated it with us,” shares Chad. “Opening the doors of a tea shop feels like a great next step! It’s a pleasure to share with the community what we are most passionate about.”
Chad’s Chai Tea blends are available at Cobblestone Farmer’s Market from 9:30 AM to noon on Saturdays, and at many other local venues, such as Camino Bakery, Black Mountain Chocolate Bar, and Poppyseed Provisions. For a complete list, go to https://chadschai.com/! Join the mailing list to learn more about new blends and the Grand Opening!
Next Month: Lavender Anne’s Farm