Photo © Toby Gorman
“But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.” – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
How to make a perfect cup of Masala Chai
Masala Chai is a traditional Indian tea made by brewing black tea with a mix of aromatic spices. This rich and fiery Indian tea has a zesty flavour and a gingery aftertaste. Its exquisite aroma and invigorating taste is what makes it a perfect wake me up tea.
Masala Chai is often called ‘Chai Tea’ or ‘Chai Latte’ here in North America. Though the actual translation of ‘Chai’ is tea and ‘Masala’ means a mixture of spices. So calling it Chai Tea would mean ‘tea tea’.
In India it’s common to see chai-wallas on the street brewing fresh chai with a variety of spices, pouring the steaming tea from a height into small little glasses. Drinking Chai in India is more like a ritual. When I was a child, tea was served at my home promptly at four-straight after siesta time. I loved Tea time. We would early gather around the table and devour the delicious biscuits and traditional savoury snacks with our tea. My Aunty Pramila served me perfect Masala Chai and I became a huge fan. My Bombay Masala Chai was the first product I ever made.
This spiced India tea is the perfect morning beverage. The spices in it will boost your energy levels and improve your mood. It’s also perfect to enjoy in bed while you cozy up on a rainy day. Sunshine or rain, a cup of Masala Chai will help set the tone of the day. Quite unknown to many is that Masala Chai has various health benefits. It can help boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and aid in digestion. For the complete health benefits of Masala Chai, click here.
There are a variety of spices that go in a cup of Masala Chai and everyone has their own combination of spices while preparing this chai. No two cups of Masala Chai will be the same!
The spices that I use are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and pepper. I get my spices from small farms around the world. They are organic, fresh, and hand-blended. You can customize the spices to suit your taste. Add a slice or two of Ginger for an extra punch and perfect with full-fat milk, cream, or coconut butter. Sweeten with unrefined sugar or monk fruit sugar and you’re good to go.
Let me show you how easy and totally not intimidating it is to make a perfect cup of Masala Chai. Follow my recipe below.
Preparation: Add 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 grams) of chai spices + 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of tea to 1 cup hot water, for 3-5 mins, strain, add cream & unrefined organic sugar to taste.
Stove Top Preparation: Add 2 tablespoons cream & 1 cup water to a saucepan over high heat; Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.
Add 1/4 Teaspoon (.5 grams) Masala & 1 Teaspoon (2 grams) Tea to pot; Add 2 slices of ginger (optional); Boil for 2-3 Minutes; Strain and Enjoy! (Add Sweetener to taste).
Follow the instructions above. Strain and pour into a mason jar. Allow to cool and transfer into the fridge. Serve over ice. Add vanilla ice cream on top for a chai float!
Make it in the morning & enjoy later in the day. Keeps for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
Illustration by Alexa Booth
Too busy to make chai? Here is the solution…
On your free day, make about 8 cups of chai following the instructions are given for your tea of choice. Allow to cool and store in the fridge in preferably a glass container (metal will react with the spices and change the flavour). Heat up chai as desired. Or have it chilled on a hot day. You will have your daily chai!