How to Make a Perfect Classic Chai

Chai Masala
Photo by Klara Avsenik on Unsplash

Indian tea, better known as chai, is a rich, milky, steaming hot, and boldly flavorful beverage. The word Chai simply means tea, while the word Masala, which is often paired with it, means spice. Preparing it at home is fairly simple; it is not so much a recipe that you need as knowing the right method. These are the steps to making Indian chai at home.

Knowing the Basics

  1. Bring water, milk and chai spices of choice to a simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.
  2. Reduce heat and add in black tea.
  3. Wait for tea to steep.
  4. Strain the warm spiced mixture into a mug; to hold back the whole spices and tea leaves.
  5. Stir some sugar into your chai and sweeten it to taste.

Getting Specific

As for the actual spices, there are ground blends of sweet spices you can find at any Indian grocery, but the flavor will likely be more poignant if you use fresh spices. Some of the most popular options include cinnamon ginger, coles, fennel, and star anise. For authenticity’s sake, it should be generously sweetened. There are really no exact measurements, it all depends on your personal preference and the number of servings you need.