March 2024 Spice Mail

March 2024 Spice Mail

For those not subscribed to our newsletter, this is an idea into what we cover in our monthly spice mail...

1 in 2 Australian's are exhausted

Is it me or are a lot of people also feeling a bit run down, and it's only March?! I was reading this ABC article discussing why 1 in 2 Australian's are currently feeling a bit depleted this year. The article talks about changing the way you do things. But that can be difficult with the rising costs of, umm, everything. I can't say I have the solution, but for me it's really important to be a part of a supportive community, learn new skills, plan ahead so that I can hold and support my future self and being honest. I hope you're doing okay, I have put a list of support networks at the bottom of this blog if you are feeling you need some support.

What's been happening at Chai Walli?

We've been quite busy making all our delicious chai products, packing stock, sending out wholesale and online orders. I haven't been able to do much marketing as we've been trying to get back on our feet in our new factory. But the processing and order packing area is looking fly! Our next step is to create a chai bar/shop in our foyer area and a beautiful studio space upstairs where we can run workshops, events and do our laptop work. Here's a video I made of our new Chai Walli premises! You can see all my family members helping to get sh*t done! I'm heading to Nepal soon to visit some tea farms to find some great new suppliers and also do the Annapurna Base Camp trek with my partner.


Upcoming Markets! Woo!

Can you believe how many years since we've done a market in Melbourne? I'm so excited to announce that we are back and we will be popping up at the below markets across Melbourne this month! Come say hey and grab some of our award winning chai blends and freshly brewed masala chai:

Image of our chai cart serving chai at an IWD event recently

Spices to consider at this time of the year (if you're in the same season as me):

In Australia, we are in Autumn. But, according to the Aboriginal seasons there are 6-7 seasons. In Melbourne, I am based in Wurundjeri country, which is currently in Eel season. March is said to be when, "the hot winds have ended and the temperature starts to get cooler, the days and nights are as short as each other". Now, as I reflect on my understanding of Ayurveda (Indian natural medicine), the current season is preparing for the cold with an erratic meeting of seasons, it is when Pitta can be out of balance. As our bodies have come out of Summer with adrenaline, we need to give ourselves support by way of discipline. As it gets cooler, we should be mindful of adding more warmth and comfort to our body. Each person is different, but I make sure I move my body in the morning and add more warming spices to my morning chai brew. I'm also drinking more chai during the day to keep the warmth going, but I'm also avoiding icy things and late nights, as my body is craving extra rest in this change of seasons.
Source: Deadly Story and Herring Island

Ayurveda Element Body (Lila Volkas)

Chai Walli teas and chai blends I recommend having this month and why:

I highly recommend the following Chai Walli blends during this season:

If you haven't tried our blends, you can grab some taster sized ones here which have 3-5 serves.

Award winning and best selling chai blends from Chai Walli

Endometriosis Awareness Month!

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month and I have endometriosis which is an auto-immune condition that impacts 1 in 7 Australian women, but I dare say I think it is a lot more as it is under-diagnosed condition. Women of Colour (WOC) are half as likely to get diagnosed than white women. I only found out I had endo a year ago after suffering from the conditions for a very long time. A lot of people who suffer from endo will often have other auto-immune and mental health related conditions as well (lets call it "endo & co"). My "co" things are Ménière's disease, PTSD and OCD (the intrusive thoughts type - which I've overcome with a great psychologist). Fun times! I'm not alone though, I know there are many others in similar situations. I want to make it normal for us to share these things, to be able to learn from each other and heal. I was recently at the Endometriosis Symposium held in Melbourne where we discussed a lot, but one thing stood out for me is that living with endo & co is extremely expensive. To be transparent, endo & co costs my partner and I $15,000 on average every single year. But over the past few years (including my loss of income from having to reduce my working capacity to deal with endo & co) it has costed us about $250,000. When I told the panel of medical professionals this, they told me that that is the story of most people suffering endo & co and there's no solutions. That's just not good enough, there needs to be more support for these silent conditions that people can't see. If you, like me, suffer from a painful condition or know someone that does, I highly recommend submitting your experience to this Victorian Inquiry into Women's Pain to help create more support and funding for endo & co (submissions close 5pm 31 July 2024). My long term newsletter subscribers know how much I love working, how much I want to achieve at Chai Walli and how important it is for me to run a value based small Australian business where we inspire positive change. I hope my story helps to raise awareness and inspires you to share yours. I don't ever consider myself defined by my labels. I use them on my own terms. I, like you, am so much more than just my name. You aren't alone, we got this!

Endometriosis Signs and Symptoms by @sarah.epperson

International Women's Day - Inspiring Inclusion:

8 March 2024 is International Women's Day (IWD) and this year's theme is Inspiring Inclusion. This year we won't be hosting an IWD event as we're not ready to host events at our new Melbourne premises yet, but I wanted to discuss this year's theme with you. The topic of inclusion is really important. When we think of "classism" it is exists when you live in a society where every in that community is from the same demographic, culture, economic level and political stance. There is no inclusion in classism. It is so important for us to be challenged and have healthy arguments to constantly grow and consider all voices. Communities that are the most diverse are the most innovative, creative and vibrant. Inspiring inclusion for me means building a community where each and everyone feels safe to be there, to feel seen, to feel supported. I've recently moved to an area where there are not many people that look like me, and that can feel unsettling. But it has been a chance to build community and raise awareness on the importance of inclusion where I live which I'm proud to be doing. Are you consciously creating a diverse community around you or are the people around you all similar to you? Are you a part of a community that is inclusive and supports the voices of all people? Do you educate yourself of things that you don't know about minority groups?

Something exciting I wanted to announce is that I am now a keynote speaker recognised by Saxton's speaking bureau who are Australia's speaking bureau!

Profile of Uppma Virdi on Saxton's website.

Spoken Word Poem for Sydney Opera House:

Last newsletter you got to READ a poem I wrote and published for the Sydney Opera House, today you get to hear me speak the poem as it was published as an audio version on Spotify. You can listen to the spoken word version here. 


To explain the journey of writing this piece, you can read a Linkedin article I wrote on how important it is to "Continue exploring who you are: My journey into uncovering myself as a writer".

Image of Margretta Sowah and Uppma Virdi, winners of the WOC Writing Program 2023 at Sydney Opera House

Customer love letters:

best chai in australia

Endometriosis Support:

If you or someone you know may be struggling with endometriosis, I highly recommend reaching out to the Epworth Endometriosis Clinic and booking a free appointment with the nurse. You don't need a referral from your GP for this, they are fantastically supportive and go over and beyond in making you feel heard and validated. Please note that everyone has different symptoms of endo but you can go to their website and find out more. 

Mental Wellbeing

If you or someone you know may be struggling, there's some great resources that I have come across that you may find useful.

For people who run small business and may be experiencing overwhelm, there are some great Australia wide resources to tap into. These includes New Access for Small Business Owners and Partners in Wellbeing. If you need any help with understanding what the differences are, send me an email and I can explain.

For those who need some emotional support, here are a list of great resources:

  • My favourite meditation app that every Chai Walli team member is recommended to have: Buddhify
  • Black Dog Institute (they have great apps, resources and wellbeing workshops)
  • Beyond Blue (24/7 mental health support)

Thank you! xx

Thank you again for your support and reading through this month's spice mail! Stay spicy :) A quote I want to leave you with: "Alone you can go fast, but together you can go far." - African Proverb

Uppma Virdi - Owner and Founder of Chai Walli 

P.S. If you'd like to sign up to our monthly spice mail, you can submit your email below to find out about our journey and any special events or offers we have going on. ​

Having a chai after a big hike at Grant's Picnic Ground!

 Disclaimer: Please note that the content above is written for information purposes only and is not for the purpose of providing medical advice and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your medical practitioner for any issues you may have.


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