Unlock the Secrets of Chai: Discover the Irresistible Arom

The spicy, sweet, and creamy allure of chai is undeniable, but what is it exactly? Learn all about this coffeehouse favorite, from its Indian roots to how to create a satisfying cup of chai at home.

What Is Chai?

Chai means “tea” in Hindi, and is a drink typically made with milk, sugar, a warming spice blend, and black tea leaves. This is a type of tea that originated in India, where it has been consumed for centuries.

British colonization of India made tea more affordable and, as a result, boosted the popularity of the chai we know today. The beloved caffeinated drink can be found via tea vendors throughout India called chai wallas and in coffee shops around the world.

The exact blend of spices used in chai can vary depending on the region and the preferences of the person making it, but common ingredients include cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. These spices give chai its rich, distinctive flavor and enticing aroma.

Get the recipe: Chai Latte

How to Make Chai

Making a great cup of chai is a straightforward process that can easily be tailor-made to your taste. Go heavy on the spices you love and omit the ones you don’t. Most importantly, start with whole, fresh spices for the best results.

Milk, tea leaves, or sugar may be added at different times depending on the recipe, but here’s a basic method to jumpstart your chai journey:

Step 1: Start by bringing water to a boil in a saucepan. Add your desired spices before bringing the mixture down to a simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Step 2: Add black tea bags or leaves; simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Step 3: Add milk and sugar; bring the mixture to another boil. Remove the chai from heat and strain into tea mugs, then enjoy.

What Is Dirty Chai?

A dirty chai is a chai latte with an added shot of espresso. It has a bold flavor — milder than black coffee but more pronounced than your standard chai. It offers a sizable caffeine boost, so it’s best enjoyed in the morning or afternoon.

How to Store Chai

After you’ve made your unique chai blend, store it properly for the longest shelf life. Chai should be stored in a cool, dark place away from light, heat, and moisture. Heat and light can cause the tea to degrade and lose its flavor, while moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow.

Tip: Use your chai spice within 6 months for the freshest flavor.


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