Chai Tea- or is it just Chai

"Chai" is a Hindi word for tea. Its like Canadians saying Toque Cap. The second word there is redundant. Anyways, it's the cultural thing. And now it is famous all over the world. Lets Learn how to make it!
Chai Tea- or is it just Chai

Chai Tea- or is it just Chai

So, Is it Chai Tea or is it just chai? Alright! Lets talk on this topic and learn how to make it as well.

As a person coming from Nepal, making tea is a most required skill whether to serve your guests or to enjoy yourself. So, after multiple iterations of making chai for many years, I can now share the process of making Chai with you. 

Chai- Hindi Word for Tea

Lol! there you have it. "Chai" is a Hindi word for tea. Its like Canadians saying Toque Cap. The second word there is redundant. Anyways, it's the cultural thing. And now it is famous all over the world. 

Chai- What does it constitute?

Chai is a fusion drink made up of tea leaves, Indian spices, milk and sugar. While everyone has a different palate and wants different tasting teas, the basics remain same. And chai is incomplete without the spice and milk. Sugar is optional.

In most of the cases, chai is made with C.T.C. Tea. Why C.T.C? Because it is strong, bitter and gives the golden brown to dark brown color. Most C.T.C teas do the trick with the color. Loose Leaf teas on the other hand have to be carefully selected. While selecting loose leaf tea, use Malty tea and not whole leaf (OP or TGFOP) can be used. 

Spices: To make chai the following are the spices :

  • Green Cardamom
  • Black Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Black pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Bay leaves
  • Ginger

Now the first 4 are the key spices and the other are optional. 

Picture: Some Spices used on Chai 

Chai- Lets make it!

Here is the step by step process to make chai (1 cup):

  1. Gather the following ingredients :
  • Milk (150 ml), Water 150 ml
  • Green Cardamom (3-4 Pods- Open and Crush)
  • Black Cardamom (1 Pod- Open and Crush)
  • Cloves (4-5 Pieces- Crush)
  • Black Pepper (4-5 units- Crush)
  • Nutmeg (Optional- A pinch - 1 to 2 gram Max) 
  • Cinnamon (Optional - A Pinch - 1 to 2 gram Max)
  • Bay leaves (Optional - 1 leaf)
  • Ginger (Optional - 3 to 5 grams)

      2. Add the water to the Pot and heat it to become warm

      3. Add the Milk and Bring the Mixture to Boil. 

Picture: Mix of Water and Milk Starting to boil

      4. Add the CTC Tea 5 grams and the spices, addition of loose leaf is optional

Picture: A spoonful of CTC Tea

Picture: Crushed Tea Masala

Picture: Loose Leaf Tea (Optional)

      5. Boil the mixture until there is Milk Skim on the top and add sugar 

Picture: Phases of Boiling Chai

Picture: Spoon of Sugar to be added to Chai

      6. Boil it until it becomes golden brown, taste a little bit once in a while, and  top off sugar or even crushed spice if you need to. Once you are satisfied with the taste then turn off the stove. 

      7. Serve the tea

Picture: Chai being Served on a Glass

No more buying mixed Chai blend. This way you can prepare the best Chai or Chai Tea.

Happy Sipping!

 

Authored By:

Bhaskar Dahal

2nd Generation Tea Entrepreneur

Founder and C.E.O, Nepal Hills Tea Inc.