Chai Tea is popular worldwide, and there are many ways to make it. Depending on the culture, it can be made with a different kind of tea or with varying amounts of spices. Its flavor profile is rich, cozy, and warm, which makes it a popular choice.
The warm beverage known as Chai is popular in India and Pakistan. This drink is made up of water, milk, loose tea, spices, and sugar. Every home has its unique chai ritual, but an average Pakistani’s daily cup of chai is quite different from the chai tea latte served at your local coffee shop.
This Masala Chai is perfect for cold and rainy weather! Nothing is better than a cup of spiced tea to warm you up while admiring the rain and the sound of the wind.
What is Chai?
The word “chai” comes from the Persian word “chay,” which means tea.
The word “Chai” is usually used to refer to an Indian spiced tea beverage. Tea is called “chai” in Hindi. To make chai, black tea is brewed with a mix of fragrant herbs and spices to make masala chai.
Common ingredients include black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, although the exact combination may differ. Milk and sugar or honey are often added to these spices to make them taste sweet.
- Water: A small amount of water added helps thin the milk and keep it from scorching while heating it up.
- Whole Cloves: impart a slightly warm, sweet aroma.
- Green Cardamoms: this aromatic floral spice is a must-have for any chai recipe.
- Cinnamon Stick: Cinnamon is a great way to flavor any dish because of its rich, spicy, warming, and sweet flavors.
- Whole milk: use whole milk or semi-skimmed milk. It’s your choice.
- Teabags of breakfast tea: You can use loose-leaf black tea or tea bags. I like the latter.
- Granulated Sugar: Feel free to use whichever sugar you prefer at the amount you like.
How To Make Chai Tea?
- Bring water to a boil. Place the water in a saucepan and add the cloves, green cardamoms, and cinnamon sticks. Cover the pan and turn the heat to moderate high. Bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down once it reaches boiling point and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Cook the milk. Add the milk to a boiling point and simmer again for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tea. Now add the teabags and give the chai a stir. Leave it to simmer for another 2-3 minutes before turning the heat off.
- Pour. Strain your masala chai into two cups, stir in the sugar according to taste (if using), and serve immediately.
I have refrigerated any leftovers and reheated them in the microwave. It tastes fantastic, but I’ve only kept it overnight or a maximum of two days, so I can’t recommend it for longer storage.
Tips for A Perfect Cup of Chai
- Non-stick Pot: To avoid milk scalding and burning the base of the pot, use a non-stick pot when cooking milk. You can also use a heavy-bottom pan instead of a non-stick saucepan.
- Be Careful when boiling milk: Keep a close watch on the milk as it boils because it could go from not boiling at all to boiling rapidly.
- Enhance Flavor: Scoop up the tea with a ladle and pour it back again and again. This helps the flavor come out and makes it foamy.
- For Strong Tea: There are two ways to make chai stronger: add more black tea or boil it for longer.
Different Types of Tea
There are many different kinds of tea/chai, each with its distinct flavor, characteristics, and method of making it. The following are a few of the most popular kinds of tea:
- Green Tea is made from unoxidized leaves that retain their original green color. It tastes slightly bitter and grassy. Dragon Well and Sencha (Japan) are popular.
- Black Tea has fully oxidized leaves, giving it a rich, dark color and flavor.
- Jasmine Tea is Any type of tea, usually green tea, with jasmine flowers added to it to make it smell sweet.
- Kadak Chai is a sugary blend of milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom brewed until it becomes a creamy, bubbling beverage.
- Kashmiri Chai takes you to Pakistani streets and Kashmiri mountains, unlike Kadak Chai. It looks royal and regal due to its beautiful pink color. The main ingredients are the same, but we added Star Anise food color. Red food coloring gives it its lovely pink color. Topped with crushed pistachios and almonds.
- Simple chai. I think that using cardamom pods is enough to make a simple chai tea.
What to serve with Spiced Tea?
Chai is sweet and spicy and goes with various things.
This tastes great with anything sugary. Something as easy as store-bought biscuits will do. Any baked good—loaf, cookie, muffin, or brownie—will accompany my cup of Chai Tea on another level. To be able to enjoy it with dessert, I often don’t put sugar in the tea, but I serve the tea with a sugar bowl in case others would want some sugar.
This tea is also fantastic with fried foods like sweet or savory dumplings, donuts, pakora, and samosas. It also goes well with breakfast foods!
Which is better, ground or whole spices?
Making chai tea with whole or ground spices has pros and cons.
Whole spices last longer. However, these spices lose their effectiveness as soon as they are ground.
The flavor of whole spices is delicate and subtle. a large quantity of whole spices are used for a stronger flavor. A small amount is required to get a strong flavor from ground spices.
Which Is Better, Tea Bags Or Loose Leaf?
Here’s a brief note about the difference between tea bags and loose leaves. Both are made in different ways and grades, so they taste and smell differently.
Teabags are made using fannings or dust, which are made from lower-quality tea leaves. Loose-leaf tea, on the other hand, is made up of the entire tea leaf. As a result, the tea tastes stronger and better.
However, nowadays, you can get high-quality tea bags that give a strong taste that is perfect for our chai tea. In this recipe, I use my favorite tea bags. Feel free to use loose tea if you prefer. For this recipe, three teaspoons of loose tea is more than enough.
How To Make Chai Without Milk?
Traditionally, chai is a creamy drink made with milk. If you are lactose intolerant, you can use lactose-free milk instead. Almond and oat milk are two other milks that taste great in chai.
Authentic Masala Chai
This is the perfect balance recipe. It has just enough spices to be cozy, warming, and tasty without being too strong. It’s a daily routine that brings serenity and an acute awareness of the moment. It’s something I like and look forward to.
I hope this warm, comforting, authentic masala chai will help us all during these cold months.
Next time you make tea, try this masala blend and let me know what you think. If there’s something you always add in chai, please let me know in the comments!
Chai Tea Recipe
- Saucepan with lid
- Wooden spoon
- 2 cups water
- 8 whole cloves
- 8 green cardamoms
- 1- inch cinnamon stick
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 black tea bags
- 3-4 teaspoons granulated sugar optional
- Place the water in a saucepan and add the cloves, green cardamoms, and cinnamon sticks. Cover the pan and turn the heat to moderate high. Bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down once it reaches boiling point and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the milk to a boiling point and simmer again for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the teabags and give the chai a stir. Leave it to simmer for another 2-3 minutes before turning the heat off.
- Strain your masala chai into two cups, stir in the sugar according to taste (if using), and serve immediately.
- Whole milk will give a creamier texture to the tea. However, if you prefer, you can use semi-skimmed milk too.
- You can use any black or breakfast tea for teabags, such as English tea. You can also use loose black tea. For this recipe, 3 teaspoons of loose black tea is enough.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.