Making Traditional Masala Chai Tea

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Masala Chai tea is one of the most consumed beverages in India. It has gained a wealth of popularity within western cultures and worked its way into our cafes, coffee shops and tea shelves, even our fridges in terms of tea bags, loose tea, syrups and powders.

Chai tea is traditionally made with spices such as green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn and is prepared with strong black tea leaves. Home grown Indian teas are most popular and include teas from the Nilgiri Hills, the Dooars and Assam.

The spice mixture used is called Karha, the blend of spices used include; allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger root, honey, nutmeg, peppercorn, star anise, vanilla and other spices. Every family, state, town and Tea Wallah has their own recipe of how to make the family chai tea, this recipe is passed down from generation to generation, much like our own Bombay chai tea which was brought back with Mr Smith on returning from India.

Buffalo milk is usually used in India to make chai tea. However we would normally use whole milk here or even condensed milk to double as a sweetener, so not as much sugar is added. White sugar, demerara sugar, honey or coconut sugars can be used as a sweetener, but some prefer it without as unsweetened chai has more spice to taste.

How this tea is traditionally made is according to the local custom and the practice is passed down through the generations. To make chai tea you add the spices to boiling water, adding the milk and the tea, straining and serving. However, others also may leave the mixture simmering for a longer amount of time or adding the tea leaves at the last moment then taking it off the boil while they infuse- for around 10 minutes.

This is a huge part of everyday life in India, with chai tea not just becoming one of the largest beverages consumed but also a part of their culture. Masala chai is consumed first thing in the morning, to help get the bodies metabolism in gear. In Indian towns and cities you will find a Chai Wallah on every street corner ready to serve you a hot spicy cuppa and supply all the local shops and offices with fresh tea !

Click Here to view our range of chai teas, blended with inspiration from  all over India!

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