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Where is chai from?
Charmingly cheerful yet mysteriously complex, delightful chai originates in the chaotic marketplaces of exotic India amidst a myriad of enticingly fragrant spicy aromas.
Also known as masala chai, chai originated hundreds of years ago in India. In keeping with chai’s seductive style and cheeky complexity, a little mystery surrounds its heritage. While its roots are firmly in India there are whispers of saucy affiliations with ancient Thai cultures too.
While ‘Thai Chai’ would roll beautifully off the tongue in more ways than one, chai is actually the Hindi word for tea, so if you mistakenly refer to it as ‘chai tea’ you are literally saying ‘tea tea!’
How to make chai?
Chai has plenty of oomph for tea lovers who enjoy a rich and robust brew dancing to the tune of spicy goodness.
Chai can contain a blend of many herbs and spices such as:
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Star anise
- Fennel seeds
- Black peppercorns
The best way to ensure a perfect cup of this full-bodied Indian tea is to follow the brewing guide on the T2 packaging or using the online tea-making guides, but here are our tips on how to make chai:
- The range of T2 chai blends are best brewed for somewhere between 2-6 minutes depending on your preferred strength.
- If you’re making your chai with hot water the ideal temperature is 90°C or 100° depending on the specific tea.
- If you want to tame the spicy flavours a little just add a decent dash of hot milk and honey for a sweet and creamy brew.
- Traditional chai latte recipes brew chai in a saucepan of warm milk before pouring into a teacup through a tea strainer or a tea cup infuser.
What is a chai latte?
Latte means milk in Italian. Commonly associated with coffee, a latte is a generally how a milky cup of espresso coffee is referred to.
Although chai is an Indian/Thai beverage, it seems to have adopted the Italian term for milk to create popular chai latte recipes. So, put simply, chai latte is chai brewed with milk, often with a dash of honey added.
Does chai have caffeine?
If you want a little caffeine hit, cheeky chai will provide. Chai is made from different black teas originating from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Sometimes the black tea in chai is assam and sometimes oolong, so it does have some caffeine, but less than coffee.
However, if you love chai but not caffeine do not despair - our Sticky Honey Rooibos loose leaf tea hails from South Africa, tastes just like chai and is caffeine free!
What is a masala chai?
Masala chai is simply another name for chai. Originally spicy and aromatic masala chai was made with chai spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise and fennel seeds but without the black tea ingredient.
In true British form we enhanced the exotic brew when we arrived in the Indian province of Assam and discovered the locally-grown, full bodied, loose black tea greatly enhanced their fabulous masala chai recipes.
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