A warm and wonderful tea tradition
Chai, meaning tea, is a popular beverage which originated in India but is now enjoyed by many countries around the world. A traditional Indian Chai is generally made up of black tea, milk, various spices and a sweetener, which assists in bringing out the flavour of the spices. Although the spices can vary from region to region, the most common ones used are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pepper. However, the basics are still the same and the outcome is a brew that’s both sweet and spicy.
Still the home of Chai, India has a myriad of street vendors selling their brews on practically every street corner. They generally prefer a much sweeter concoction than what most of us here in Australia are used to but it truly is a delicious treat not to be missed when visiting India.
Chai can be purchased here in Australia pre-blended or you can create your own, focusing on the spices you particularly enjoy. Here at The Tea Centre we have 7 varieties to cater for everyone, from a green tea chai blend, a rooibos chai blend (caffeine free) and several varieties of black chai blends with Masala Chai being the closest to a standard Indian Chai.
Preparation of chai is open to the individual. Some brew it like a standard cup of tea, others like to boil it in milk on the stove and yet others like to brew it like tea and add condensed milk, making a lovely, but somewhat sweet, latté. How you brew it is up to you and your personal preferences but it’s always best to experiment a little until you find the way you like it most. For further information on the various spices and their health properties please click here.
Chai has also become popular to use when baking cakes, slices and biscuits as the spices lend themselves to some lovely flavours. Hot chocolate chai infusions are also becoming popular as an alternative to the standard sweet treat enjoyed by many on a cold day.