How to make chai tea
Everybody chai-lover remembers their first cup. Whether it was poured by a chai wallah in an Indian marketplace, or prepared by a barista in a Melbourne cafe, you look back on the first time you tasted that unique spicy flavour with fondness. And, if you're wondering how to make chai tea at home whenever you want to, wonder no more. In this article, we'll explain what chaii is, how to make it, and the benefits of sipping on a good cup of chai tea.
What is chai tea?
Chai tea is a flavoursome hot drink made by blending black tea, a range of spices, milk, and honey. A few common spices you'll see pop up in many chai tea recipes include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and star anise. The beauty of chai is that these basic spices can be mixed with other ingredients like turmeric, chocolate, and even coffee to create wonderfully unique flavours.
Speaking of flavours, if you've noticed that a cup of chai tea tastes different at every place you order it, this is because there is no set in stone chai tea recipe. Chai is the Hindi word for all the varieties of tea there are, and tea can be made in a million different ways!
How do you make a good chai tea
Unlike many teas, chai tea (as it is called by Westerners) is traditionally made by brewing the chai tea in milk, not hot water. If you're looking for a recipe for chai tea, you'll probably notice there are two main ways to make it:
Making chai tea from scratch.
This method involves brewing loose leaf black tea or herbal tea with your own selection of spices in milk. It is then strained, and honey and milk are added to taste. Making chai tea from scratch lets you choose the exact mixture of spices your heart desires, but it can be costly to buy all of those ingredients for just one cup!
Making chai tea with chai tea bags or loose leaf chai
This method is the same as above, except you just use black tea and spices that come premixed and ready to steep. Using chai tea bags makes the process even more convenient, as you don't have to worry about straining your tea.
If you are new to the world of chai and want to make a good chai tea, try out premixed blends to get an idea of the spices you like before you splash out on ingredients for making chai from scratch. The T2 chai range is a great place to start when you're looking for flavour inspiration. It has a combination of tastes for every palate. Why not introduce your taste buds to a cup of spicy indian chai, soothing milk rose chai, oolong chocolate chai or hot date chai?
Is it good to drink chai tea every day
Chai tea is drunk every day by millions of people around the world, and for good reason! Not only does chai tea taste delightful, but because it is made from black tea, chai a great way to get more antioxidants like catechins and theaflavins into your diet. Just try not to offset these chai tea benefits by adding too much honey to your cup.
Do you brew chai with milk or water?
Chai tea is traditionally brewed with milk in a saucepan or a chai tea pot. Brewing chai in milk helps bring out the robust flavours of the spices, and creates a well rounded taste. If you plan to become a frequent chai drinker, buying a chai tea pot for brewing is a good investment. These purpose-made pots go straight onto your stove and have a lip that makes pouring your chai through a strainer a lot easier and less messy than pouring from a saucepan.
Of course, there's nothing stopping you from brewing chai in boiling water and adding milk afterwards. This is a good method if you prefer a stronger cup of tea where all of the spicy flavours really stand out.
Does chai tea have caffeine?
Because chai tea is usually made from black tea leaves and spices, it does contain caffeine. If you are trying to cut caffeine out of your diet, don't worry - you don't have to give up your beloved chai! There are some chai teas that combine herbal bases and the usual mix of chai spice tealovers crave, so that you can enjoy the flavour of a cup of chai minus the caffeine kick!