Chai is the Hindi word for “tea.” What most people think of as “chai tea” is more accurately called “masala chai” or spiced tea. It is a mixture of black tea, sugar (or other sweeteners), milk, and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn, and cloves.

Although chai tea is a traditional beverage with a long history, the modern world has claimed it for its own. There are now many types of chai tea available, including chai milk shakes, chocolate chai tea, and low-fat chai tea.

There is no set recipe for chai tea, and the choice of spices used as well as the preparation method can vary considerably. The most common method of making chai tea is to boil water along the sugar and spices, add the tea and milk, simmer for a few minutes, then strain the chai tea and serve it.

Chai tea is a commonplace beverage in India and is becoming more popular in western countries. That popularity is due to the great taste of chai tea as well as the soothing effect it has on the stomach. It is a great aid to digestion after a heavy meal.

Chai tea also gives a feeling of well-being. Nothing is more satisfying than to sip chai tea with friends after a convivial meal.

Chai tea can be made at home with mixes called chai masala. If mixes are not available in your area, the spices for making chai tea are widely available, so it’s easy to make your own chai tea.

Some merchants offer chai tea bags, but tea bags are a poor substitute to the real chai tea experience. It is easy to make chai tea on your own and many tea shops serve chai tea which has been prepared in the traditional way.

If you would like to make your own chai tea, try to use fresh ingredients – especially the ginger. Fresh ginger is available in most large supermarkets, and it makes all the difference between “real” chai tea and a poor substitute.

Crush the spices and mix them with water, milk, and loose black tea. Boil the mixture for about 15 minutes, stirring continuously. Add sugar to taste and strain and serve the chai tea.

Experiment with the proportions of spices until you find the mix that suits your taste. This traditional method of making chai tea is a bit more time consuming than using store-bought mixes, but the results are worth it. After tasting “real” chai tea you won’t want it any other way.