(pronounced with a long “I”) is an Indian tradition. Black tea, milk,
spices, and sweeteners are blended for a creamy and strong drink.
Chai, which means tea in many countries, is a drink staple in
Traditionally, the spices are boiled and then steeped together with black tea. After the mixture is strained, sweetener and milk are added just before serving to develop the distinctive taste. The drink is served hot or cold. It’s similar to a latte and often called chai masala, meaning spiced tea.
The term “chai” refers more to the method of preparation than to which type of tea is selected.
Chai is marketed almost worldwide as a powdered mix or spice and tea blend. It is also available in specialty shops made with fresh whole milk and can be found pre-bottled. Sometimes green tea or ginseng are substituted for black tea leaves.
Pre-made or homemade chai should be refrigerated and used within one week. Add milk just before serving.
• Before preparing chai from a bag, shake gently to redistribute the spices.
• The strength of chai can be controlled by the length of tea steeping time.
• For a slightly thicker mix, simmer the sugar with the spices first, then add the tea for brewing. Milk is always added last.
by BigOven team and Steve Murch
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