How to Make Indian Spiced Chai Tea

In India the Hindi word for tea is Chai, so calling this beverage Chai tea is actually a redundant and illogical term. English speakers are more likely to call it masala chai which when translated means spiced tea. Many eastern languages use chai as their word for tea including the Kurds, Turks, Russians and Serbs. What we might call Chai tea is actually called masala tea because masala is the Hindi word for spice.

Using the English term Chai tea, tea drinkers would be surprised to learn that it is not as popular inside the country as it has become outside of India although it is still much more popular than coffee.

Interestingly Chai tea is noticeably more popular amongst Indians who live in countries other than their own. Indian spiced tea is also known for its wonderful taste in teahouses worldwide.

Chai tea is not prepared in the way that most English or American tea drinkers would make it. Although there is no one specific way to prepare it, it is usually made in a manner similar to the following.

Spice Chai Tea

Because this is not an actual brand of tea but more like a method of preparing it, there must first be a base tea. It can be anything but the tea-leaves most commonly used are for making black tea. This is because its taste is strong enough not to be blunted by the sweetening and spicing that is done to it.

Something must be used to sweeten the Chai tea which is usually white sugar but can also be honey, brown sugar or even molasses. It depends on what flavor the tea drinker is looking for.

Then there must be some type of cream or milk.

Lastly the spicing is added. Normally at least one, or maybe more, spices are added to the brew. Usually it is cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn or cloves. It is possible, depending on a person’s tastes, that others can be used as well. These others, although not put into the mix as often, can include chocolate or vanilla.

Then when all the ingredients are together, the water is boiled with the sugar and spice already in it. The tea-leaves and milk are then added once the water has boiled. After simmering the tea it is strained and served up for an enjoyable cup of spiced tea.


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