Commonly known in the West as chai, masala chai is a type of spiced tea that originated in India. Last year, I spent five months traveling across India to research chai, and I can say one thing with certainty -- everywhere you go, the local chai will be totally different! While in India, I sampled drinks ranging from a simple, boiled drink made from black tea, sugar, milk and ginger to cardamom-spiced black tea poured back and fourth between two cups at a height of one meter until it's frothy to elaborately spiced blends served in posh cafes. And once I left India, I encountered even stranger variations, like the newly popular dirty chai.
You can learn more about this varied and rather addictive drink with the in-depth Masala Chai 101 or, if you already know you love chai and want to make your own, you can skip to the best chai recipes on the site. Enjoy, and Happy Hot Tea Month!
Photo (c) Lindsey Goodwin
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