Tea is one of the common threads that unite a myriad of cultures; what is a morning jolt of caffeine or a ritual afternoon respite for some, may be a traditional ceremony for others. Regardless of the purpose it serves, tea has been a constant in society for centuries. The different flavors of tea have changed and evolved but the love for it has remained the same.
Having made its appearance more frequently on many a restaurant menu, Chai tea – named for the Hindi word for tea itself – has reached a popularity of huge proportions making it a favorite staple for tea enthusiasts everywhere. In fact, in India, Chai tea has reached a pinnacle of popularity that has surpassed even coffee.
The tea that is commonly referred to as Chai tea in most cultures is a tea infused with a variety of spices; its taste is unique and easily recognized. The people of India have a variety of recipes they use to make Chai tea and recipes are handed down from generation to generation. The strength and combination of the spices is what makes each Chai tea recipe unique.
All Chai tea recipes begin with a strong black tea as its base. Added to this is heavy milk or cream followed by a variety of spices. The spices used in Chai tea vary according to the particular region from where the Chai tea derives but some particular spices that are normally associated with Chai tea are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger. Finally, sugar, honey, molasses – or a combination of some or all – is added to the Chai tea to sweeten the beverage.
Chai tea can be found in a multitude of shops and restaurants around the world. But for those who are willing to experiment, you can make your own delicious Chai tea at home that reflects the combination of tea, milk, spices, and sweetener that most suits you.
No matter whether you prepare or purchase your Chai tea, the result is the same – a soothing beverage that can bring peace, relaxation, and joy with every cup.