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Chai Tea

What is Chai Tea?

Chai Tea is a spiced tea that originates from the Indian sub-continent. Also known as Masala Tea, or Masala Chai Tea, chai tea is made by brewing tea (Camellia sinensis) with aromatic herbs and spices to produce a highly flavoured hot tea drink. Chai tea is served hot with milk and sugar and is a strongly flavoured, sweet, bracing drink. In the West, chai latte or chai tea latte is hot frothy milk flavoured with spiced tea essence.

Chai Tea Preparation

Traditionally in Southern Asian countries, chai tea is brewed by boiling tea leaves, sugar and whole spices over heat. This produces a more caffeine-rich tea beverage as more caffeine is released from the tea leaves by this boiling process. The resultant brew is strongly spiced and is served with milk for a richly flavoured drink.

Chai Tea Recipes

A typical traditional Indian recipe for chai tea would include: A strong black tea such as Assam Tea as the base, white sugar, whole milk, spices - one or more of the following: cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorn, ginger and cloves. In some parts of India mint may be added to flavour the chai tea.

Chai Tea Latte

In English speaking countries a drink called Chai Latte, or Chai Tea Latte is frequently served in coffee shops and cafe bars. This drink is essentially a liquid concentrate of chai tea mixed with hot or cold milk. This is then served as either a hot chai latte or iced chai latte. Sometimes chocolate and / or vanilla is added to the chai latte to replace the more traditional (and stronger tasting) spices - this seems to suit a western palate. Various names may be encountered in the West for chai tea drinks; blended chai latte, chai frappuccino, chai frappuccino blended crème, iced chai latte, chai latte, chai tea latte. The following are sometimes seen when chai tea is served as an espresso drink; "red eye chai", "chai charger", "java chai", "tough guy chai" and "dirty chai".

Chai Tea Flavours

Besides the traditionally spices used to flavour chai tea mentioned above it is possible to both find chai tea flavoured with other ingredients and of course, to try flavouring the chai tea yourself. Whilst it may be traditional to use cardamon as the main spice to flavour chai tea, other flavourings can be tried for example; rose petals, nutmeg, almonds, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, or liquorice root. In Kashmir chai tea is brewed with green tea instead of black tea and results in a lighter, more subtly flavoured drink.

Iced Chai Tea Recipe

After reading the above you will see it is easy to prepare your own iced chai tea recipe. Just make up chai tea in the way of your choice and to suit your taste and place the iced chai tea from your recipe into the fridge to chill. Serve the iced chai tea in tall glasses poured over ice.

Chai Tea

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