Chai is known for its warming and aromatic flavours, but when you combine Leanne Toy’s signature blend of tea and spices with her love of nourishing food and passion for creating positive mind/body connections, there is little doubt Lonnie’s Chai is something special.
“My spicy, salty, sweet journey from my Lonnie’s Chai Kitchen continues to surprise me,” she said.
“It started out as a hobby, making real chai as a sideline to my job as a yoga teacher and has expanded to be a big part of my Bundaberg Yoga/Lonnie’s Chai micro business.”
Lonnie, as she is affectionately known, is an experienced yoga teacher who specialises in stress management and mental health, who began featuring food and chai at her retreats as they were a marriage made in heaven.
“I love making food and tea with the health-giving properties of organic spices. This aligns really nicely with yoga’s sister science of Ayurveda, which relies heavily on spices in our food for medicinal purposes,” Lonnie said.
“Food as medicine is more than the ingredients and the nutritional benefits of those ingredients. There’s alchemy that happens when you source, create and share food with the intention of love – there is real nourishment.”
“Become friendlier with your own body.”
Lonnie said it all partnered perfectly with her yoga teaching and the definition of yoga as a way to “become friendlier with your own body’’.
“We live in our bodies, we live in our community. How we treat those homes is where real health is at. And never has that been more obvious for many of us than this year, when our homes have been our world,” she said.
Lonnie’s Chai was born out of passion, fun and creativity and continues to expand. It started with Lonnie’s signature chai – a spiced tea blend featuring a treasure trove of whole organic spices, ground freshly for each order, and mixed with either a robust black tea from the Daintree or caffeine- free Rooibos leaf.
“This year creativity has bloomed in isolation and I was able to create Lonnie’s Sticky Chai, which showcases Bundy Honey and is another delicious option for making great chai at home.”
Lonnie’s Chai became so popular, she expanded into other spiced products – salty spiced nuts, spiced chocolate made with organic cacao powder, spiced dukkah, salted caramel chocolate ‘crack’ and chai spice sprinkles.
“I source local ingredients as much as possible, from macadamias and pecans to blueberries and ginger. Figs and sweet potato to zucchinis and strawberries, citrus, eggs, raspberries, honey, herbs. We live in the biggest food bowl in Australia. And organic producers are starting to thrive here which is very exciting,” she said.
“I have been blessed with amazing support from local businesses who stock my Lonnie’s products.”