Chai - What it is and how to make it
What is Chai one might wonder? Chai is the Hindi word for tea. It is not only a word but also a way of life in India. Influence came from the British colonization that took place in India and helped develop the culture of tea. Famous for their tea consumption, the British tradition was quickly adapted in India but it is thanks to India’s culture and love for spices that made Chai happen. Without their fusion of blends and spices into Indian tea, Chai tea would not be the delicious milky beverage that we consume today.
What is in a traditional Chai tea?
Chai consists of spices such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and many more. Not just that, it is usually black tea infused with the different spices and boiled to perfection. They then add milk and sweetener which results to the amazingness that we all know as Chai Tea. In India, one cannot help but see all the stands that are preparing chai right there for you, found in almost every corner. There are regions where you can find other variations of the chai tea, including adding green tea instead of the regular black one. Others will use a mixture of different teas into their chai while still including the rest of the standard ingredients from traditional chai.
Chai enthusiasts know that a good chai tea calls for whole milk. The creamy consistency and rich flavor of whole milk is what’s needed to bring out the flavors of the spices. Adding flavor to this concoction is through the use of sweetener. Usually, white sugar is the typical sweetener for the chai tea and helps bring out the spices flavors.
What to pair your chai tea with?
Much like the British, tea is usually accompanied by different snacks. Most of the times, it depends what time of the day you have your tea in order to pair it with the appropriate snack.
Indian tradition calls for pairing chai tea with tiny sandwiches. It is common to pair your tea with deep-fried snacks such as samosas, pakora or murukku.
How to Make Chai
Suggested ways to prepare your chai tea is to let the water boil, add your preferred spices and then add your tea and sugar. Once you strain the spices out of the water, add your milk and voila. The perfect blend of milky and sweet tea is ready for you to drink.