Lately, you have surely been surprised to find on the menu of your favorite café among the wide variety of coffees and infusions, a type of tea with rich and varied flavors: chai tea or chai latte .
Where does chai come from or should I say "masala chaï"?
The history of chai begins in India several centuries ago. Chai was originally used as an herbal remedy in traditional Hindu medicine, Ayurveda. In fact, at that time, the drink consisted only of milk, herbs and spices. In the 1830s, as an alternative to the Chinese monopoly on tea production, British settlers introduced tea to Ind. It is at this time that tea is added to the recipe. This is the traditional and national Indian drink made from a spicy and sweet milk tea, consumed by millions of people every day. We should rather call it "masala chaï" because the Hindi term "chaï" simply means "tea", derived from the Chinese word "cha". The type of tea used in chai latte is "masala chai", which is a blend of spices. The most common are: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper. Spices may vary from region to region, household to household, and chai wallah to cellar.
A "wallah" is the one who does the task. Wallah chai usually makes their chai to order, placing their old pot on a stove, pouring generous amounts of sugar into the boiling milk and water, then a pinch of spices and tea, and sometimes a slice of ginger. fresh crushed. This mixture is boiled for a few minutes.
Today we appreciate chaï all over the world, tasting it both hot and cold in a drink or in recipes . This traditional tea has been modernized with many variations: chai latte, iced tea with espresso, or even in milkshakes and even in alcoholic drinks.
What are the ingredients and recipes for making chai tea and chai latte?
Masala chai is the spicy tea from India which includes both:
- the chai: dried black tea leaves
- masala: a blend of spices that varies from place to place, but usually includes at least ginger, cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves.
The traditional way to prepare masala chai is to simmer the masala spices in milk on the stove, then add the tea leaves and water (sugar is often added as well).
What are the benefits of chai?
Chai is a drink with recognized benefits, thanks to the wide variety of spices and plants it contains. Each ingredient has unique properties for a subtle marriage in the service of well-being: anti-oxidants, anti-bacterial, helps digestion and strengthens the immune system.
In short, chaï is a drink with aromas and intense flavors, ideal to start the day, after lunch to enjoy its stimulating and digestive actions or during the afternoon break. In the evening, prefer chai rooibos, without theine, ideal for consumption in the evening without disturbing sleep.
Enjoy your chaï latte!