Featuring an aromatic blend of black tea and Indian spices and herbs, Masala chai tea is a very popular type of tea. Spices like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon are important components to a true Masala Chai.
As its name might suggest, Masala Chai means spiced tea. In Indian culture, masala means a blend of spices while chai is the name for tea. Spice blends can vary, especially in Indian homes where families are producing their own masala chai. Look for recognizable ingredients like star anise, cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, allspice, coriander, and more.
It’s very common to see milk added to masala chai — the more rich and full the milk, the better the flavor will be. Sugar is also typically added so many people forego the whole milk and add condensed milk to cover both the milk and sugar bases.
Traditionally, masala chai is made via a process called decoction. Decoction extracts chemicals, oils, and organic compounds from herbal or plant materials by boiling. When it comes to masala chai, the mixture of milk, water, loose leaf tea, sweeteners, and spices are all boiled together to produce a quality spiced tea.
Some people believe masala chai has a wealth of health benefits including helping Type 2 Diabetes sufferers maintain regular blood sugar levels and reducing PMS symptoms and bloating, fatigue, and more. However, while masala chai has a lot of health benefits, the added sugar and milk (especially for those of us who are becoming lactose intolerant as we get older) may not be the best to consume in large quantities.
Do you drink masala chai? If so, do you purchase it store bought or make your own? Next time I’m going to experiment with making my own at home!