Chai Teas

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Chai Teas are strong black teas flavoured with a mixture of spices, usually including cardamom and cinnamon. Chai originates from India and is made by boiling the tea with spices and water, rather than infusing them as is more standard. Chai is normally drunk with milk and sugar or with condensed milk.

The best chai drinks are made with freshly ground spices and made as described above, the worst are just a freeze-dried, sweet mixture to which some boiled water is added. These are not real chai teas, but an ersatz approximation of the idea.


Tea Pot

  • Quantity: 1 teaspoon (2½ g) per cup or person
  • Water: 95oC (200oF)
  • Brew time: 5 minutes

Stove Top

This is a very different technique that stews the tea leaves, together with spices and milk:

  1. Put 2½ cm (1 inch) cinnamon quill and 8 green cardamom pods into pan
  2. Add 175 ml (¾ cups) water; bring to the boil. Cover, turn to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add 550 ml (2 cups) milk and 4 tablespoons sugar and simmer again for 1 minute.
  4. Add 3 teaspoons black tea, cover and turn off heat.
  5. After 5 minutes, strain and serve in cups.