Commonly referred to as chai or a chai tea latte in most coffee houses, masala chai is really just a spiced milk tea made with black tea. The tea has gained incredible popularity around the world, though the tea originated from India.
Masala chai is often made with a mixture of spices that are infused in black tea, then combined with hot milk for an aromatic, slightly sweet beverage.
While you can order a chai tea latte at almost any coffee shop or tea shop, making masala chai at home is preferable. This is because most commercial versions of the tea are made using powdered mixes or concentrates rather than grinding the herbs right there in the shop and infusing them into the black tea.
You can also control just how much of each spice you add to the tea. If you are a fan of cinnamon, then you can add more of it to the tea. Or, if you’re not a fan of ginger, feel free to skip adding this spice.
The masala chai recipe below will yield a classic version of the tea and contains a handful of spices. You’ll need a mortar and pestle or a coffee/spice grinder to turn your spices into powder form and use that in your tea.
Cook time: 5 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 small cinnamon stick 1 and 1/2-inch long
- 4 peppercorns preferably white
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups water
- 5 teaspoons loose black tea
- Grind the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a coffee/spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
- To a medium saucepan, add the milk and heat until it's just about to simmer. Lower the heat and whisk in the brown sugar, ground spices, and ginger.
- Bring water to a boil in a kettle or separate saucepan and add black tea. Boil for a minute, then strain the tea and pour it into the hot milk.
- Stir the tea and milk mixture over the heat for a minute, then serve.
Recipe adapted from epicurious.com