Making Chai Teas

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There are as many ways to make chai as there are families across India, each having their own special method.

Indian Masala Chai

Makes 1 quart / 1 liter / 4 cups [1][2]

1 inch / 2½ cm cinnamon sticks
10 green cardamom pods, crushed
3 cloves
1 tsp ginger powder or ½ / 1¼ cm freshly grated ginger
3 black peppercorns
2 cups / 500 ml water
8 teaspoons black tea, ideally Indian or Sri Lankan
2 cups / 500 ml milk
8 teaspoons sugar
  1. Add the water and spices to a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tea leaves, milk and sugar to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for another 3 - 5 minutes.
  4. Pour into mugs, straining out the tea leaves and spices.
  5. Taste and adjust sugar if needed.

The best teas for cha are Assam or English or Irish breakfast-type teas.

Associated Pages


  1. A Spicy Perspective (Undated) Authentic Indian Chai [1]
  2. Mahesh (1992) Two Ways to Make Indian Tea New Chai Ideas [2]

Further Reading

  • Gascoyne, K. Marchand, F., Desharnais, J., Américi, H. (2014) Tea: History Terroirs Varieties, Ontario, Canada, Firefly Books. ISBN 9781770853195.
  • Rosen, D. (1999) Chai: The Spice Tea of India, North Adams, MA, USA, Storey Publishing. ISBN 1580171664.