DIY Chai Tea
Posted by : Summer Bradbury /
"Chai" is the word for tea in several different languages.
In the US, we most commonly associate Chai to a milky, spicy, semi-sweet tea beverage that has gained popularity in the recent years. This delectable flavor combination is more accurately known as Masala Chai which originated in India centuries ago and translates to "spice tea." Each household has it's own recipe. It is commonly made with strong black tea, heavy milk, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, and a sweetener such as honey.
Some say that Masala Chai was created to mask the poor quality of tea available in India while it was colonized by Great Britain. The British were said to have kept the high quality tea for themselves while giving the lower quality tea to the native people.
Masala chai is warming, and produces a soothing sensation that supports digestion. Health benefits vary depending on what you add to your tea. Black tea and assorted spices have an array of benefits on their own and can act synergistically when consumed together.
As mentioned there are many recipe variations... Here is one that is tried and true! Customize as desired! (Serves 4)
- 4 tsp loose black tea
- 1 piece of dry ginger
- 3 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Milk and honey [or sugar] to taste
- Chop up ginger into fine pieces and break up cinnamon stick.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then add tea leaves and all the spices.
- Let everything brew at boiling for 30 to 45 seconds.
- Remove from heat, then let steep at room temperature for another minute.
- Strain out the tea and pieces of spice.
- Serve hot and fragrant, with only a touch of milk and honey