Chai Tea, which is India’s most popular tea now have gained popularity in the West. Chai Tea is commonly known as Masala Chai in India which means spiced tea. The word Chai itself means tea in Hindu and in other countries in South Asia. Chai tea had become part of India’s rich culture, most people drink 5- 6 cups of Chai a day, making it as part of their daily ritual.
Chai originated way back 5,000 years. People believed based from legends that the Chai’s concoction was made by a Hindu king. The original traditional concoction is said to contain many healing properties, even found in Ayurveda scripts. The king is believed to have used many variants of spices according to the kind of ailment he wanted to cure, which maybe explains the wide variety of ways in making Chai tea. Chai tea recipes also vary depending on the town you live, each have its unique style of making Chai tea.
Chai tea basically consist of black tea as tea base usually Assam, milk, sweetener, and Chai mix made of a combination of spices that are either used as a whole or grounded. Nowadays, Indian stores have powdered Chai mix that is more practical to use, you don’t need to find the individual spice requirements for the mix, and you just add them directly to the black tea base. The basic mix includes cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves (can be crushed or used as a whole.) Some want freshly grated ginger, fennels, star anise or peppercorns added in their traditional Chai mix.
The tea base, which is a full bodied black Assam tea, is usually used. Tea leaves are preferable to use rather than tea bags because of its freshness, aroma, and more powerful taste. Darjeeling or Ceylon tea can also be used aside from the common black Assam. Milk makes the Chai tea India’s Latte version of teas. Whole or skimmed milk is used. Other people also wanted condensed milk to add on to double the sweetness of the tea and acts as substitute for sugar. In order to sweeten the tea, sugar is added in but the healthier choice is honey.
In order to make Chai tea, Chai mix is first boiled in water; allow the Chai mix to simmer for about a few minutes then the tea base is added to the mixture. Allow it to boil for 5- 10 minutes. After which, add in milk and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the tea into the teapot and add in honey to sweeten.Some of the ingredients in brewed Chai tea have superior healing abilities and health benefits, here are to name some;
Cinnamon is said to have regulatory effects on blood sugar, it is good for people with diabetes and have yeast infections. Cloves are used in Ayurvedic medicine as an analgesic, and commonly used to cure toothaches and halitosis, while Cardamoms and Fennels relieve flatulence, digestion and eases nausea.