What is Masala Chai?
Masala Chai is a beverage made by steeping black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. This tea is also referred to as “spiced milk tea”. Masala Chai has gained recognition around the world and become increasingly popular in the western world. Tea sellers have begun selling modified versions by mixing the spices with loose leaf tea for an easy at-home cup. Interesting factoid: chai means tea. That is why we don’t refer to it as chai tea or tea-tea! Just chai.
Here at The Tea Haus, our most flavourful chai is our Masala Chai blend. We were able to recreate the full flavour of the original Indian spiced beverage with a balance of Assam and Nilgiri teas straight from India, lots of cardamom, and chai spices. You can create your own custom, authentic mixture of masala chai by using a select few ingredients.
The History of Masala Chai.
Interesting factoid: chai actually means tea. That is why we don’t refer to it as chai tea or tea-tea! Just chai. Traditionally, tea has been consumed in India for many centuries and was more commonly seen as a medicinal beverage rather than an “easy-drinking” beverage, the way western society commonly views tea and coffee. Many of the original masala chai recipes were born from ancient Ayurvedic texts.
Ayurveda is a form of alternative medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. Ayurvedic therapies and practitioners have spread globally and been applied for medical use worldwide. Although few scientific trials have been centred around the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicine, its craft has been evolving over more than two millennia in India.
The Traditional Masala Chai.
The traditional masala chai is steeped with varying proportions of warming spices and tea. The spice mixture is called karha and includes ground ginger and cardamom pods. Modifications of the traditional Karha have also included cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn, nutmeg, and cloves.
When crafting your own steep of masala chai, you can play around with the portions of each spice to flavour the cup to your liking. The recipe below includes a number of spices that are balanced in a favourable way.
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cups of water
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp black tea
- Crush the cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon together either manually or with the help of a grinder.
- Add the crushed mixture to a saucepan. Add water, ginger, and pepper.
- Bring the saucepan mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, remove the mixture from the heat, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, remove from heat and add the tea leaves.
- Cover and let steep for 3 minutes.
- Stir the mixture and strain the liquid of all loose particles.
Shop Masala Chai
Create your own cup of masala chai by following the directions above, or opt for an easy pre-made cup of masala chai that we’ve prepared for you. Simply steep, and go!
CAD $5.50 per 50g