Chai tea has a distinctive scent and an even more profound flavor profile.
You could identify it as masala chai, depending on where you’re from. However, for the sake of clarity, the word “chai tea” shall be used throughout this text.
Black tea, ginger, and other spices are combined to make chai tea. Cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, and cloves are among the most common herbs. However, star anise, coriander seeds, and peppercorns are also popular.
Chai tea is usually brewed with hot water and warm milk, unlike normal tea, prepared with water alone. Chai is also traditionally sweetened to some extent.
Another common way to drink tea is formulating chai lattes. Chai lattes are made by combining a shot of chai tea concentrate with steamed milk, resulting in a beverage with more milk than a standard cup of chai tea.
Chai tea is available in most cafés, but it’s also simple to brew at home, using fresh ingredients, premixed tea bags, or a store-bought concentrate. Chai tea has also been connected to several health advantages.
Chai is a beverage that originated on the Indian subcontinent. In the 1830s, British colonists discovered wild tea plants and began cultivating the plant in the Assam region. By the turn of the century, Indian-grown tea had gained enormous appeal, and Chinese tea consumption had decreased to just 10%.
However, tea, traditionally used in India for medicinal purposes rather than as an ordinary beverage, did not become a popular drink until the early twentieth century.
The Indian Tea Association supported local tea vendors and pushed companies to provide tea breaks to their employees. To cut expenses, these merchants, who were ubiquitous along rail routes across the country, began replacing some of the tea leaves in their tea with spices and a large amount of milk and sugar.
Despite the opposition of the Indian Tea Association, ‘Masala Chai’ became firmly entrenched as the delectable beverage we all love and know today. It remains available all over the world.
Can You Drink Chai with Water?
Yes, you can drink Chai with water.
Masala tea or chai tea is a strong tea containing spices including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black peppercorns traditionally consumed with milk.
To prepare a Chai latte, steep the Chai in water, add milk, or simmer the tea in a mixture of milk and water or simply milk.
Is Chai Tea Just Tea with Milk?
No, Chai isn’t just tea with milk. There are traditional recipes all over India, but it’s not as simple as “tea with milk” because methods are used to create the real thing.
While you may be more familiar with Starbucks’ chai tea, Chai has been a way of life in India for decades. Whether it’s a major event like a traditional Indian marriage or a simple neighborhood social affair, drinking tea with your loved ones is a sign of love and unity in India.
Its history, on the other hand, is rather complicated. The British colonized Chai because they wanted to grow tea outside of China. After all, China had a monopoly on tea production.
The British launched a massive drive to make tea more popular among Indians in the early twentieth century. Soon after, tea dealers began adding stuff to the tea – these were called ayurvedic spice blends. In addition, they began heavily mixing Chai with milk, resulting in what we now know as the masala chai [a spice-added form of Chai].
The British product, which was spiced up with Indian ingredients, became a great hit and a cultural export in its own right in India. As a result, Chai is now available at almost every coffee shop. First, however, a few points to bear in mind if you want to build your own at home.
Chai is made up of four primary ingredients: tea, spices, sugar, and milk, but the exact mix will vary significantly from culture to culture. You can change the flavors, heat level, and sugar level to your liking.
Masala chai is generally made with black tea, but you may make it with green tea, black tea, or any other tea leaves you have on hand. In addition, unique chai blends are now available from the internet and at specialty food stores. So forget about having a “typical” flavor palette for Chai because the flavor may vary greatly depending on the tea blend that you have on hand.
The amount and types of spices you use, as well as the spice formula you will use, will all have a significant impact on the flavor of your homemade creation. However, it’s the spices that will give you the perfect woodsy and energizing flavors that set Chai apart from common tea preparations.
Cloves, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, mint, lemongrass, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom are the most frequent spices used in masala chai. Each of these spices has distinct benefits when consumed. Cardamom, for example, can help with digestion; cinnamon is naturally high in antioxidants, while fresh or dried ginger has been known to alleviate nausea and vomiting.
Whole milk is ideal for making hot Chai since it includes a lot of natural fats that give it a rich, creamy flavor. While whole milk is traditionally used in Chai, any milk will suffice. Make your Chai a little lighter using skim milk or non-dairy milk like almond, oat, or soy. Even buffalo milk is used in a classic chai recipe.
It’s entirely up to you how much and what sort of sugar you use, as well as how sweet you want your Chai to be.
Start with 1 or 2 teaspoons of simple sugar when sweetening your Chai. Remember, genuine Chai is supposed to be sweet. Gradually increase the amount to your preferred taste. If you want to try something new, Sanyal recommends using brown or demerara sugar. If these two aren’t available, you can also use either honey or maple syrup.
Is It OK To Drink Chai Tea Everyday?
Yes, it’s OK to drink tea daily, but in moderation. The recommended quantity is no more than three cups per day.
Many studies have already observed that tea, mainly green tea, is high in flavonoids, bioactive substances that can reduce oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and provide other health benefits. However, they noted that more research was needed to discover if the findings in Chinese adults applied to persons outside of east Asia.
The main picture is from Bharatkicitizen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.