Background: Wild tea shrubs have covered the Assam region of India since antiquity, and so it is no surprise that Assam teas and blends made from them —like Masala Chai —are ubiquitous among the cultures of India and its neighbors. In commercial areas, there is a friendly tea-maker called a “Chai Walla” on every corner supplying local businesses and their clients with warm, fresh Masala tea. Even at home, people consume dozens of small glasses of the tea every day.
And yes, the name “chai tea” is a redundancy as Masala Chai literally translates to mixed spice tea. In Ayurvedic terms, the drink is defined as a Black tea mixed with “warm” spices, such as cinnamon, green cardamom, and ginger, and is said to preserve health and increase peace. Indeed, several cultures consider the drink to aid in spiritual enlightenment.
In the Cup: This organic Indian Black tea is malty and sweet with exotic, spicy notes like clove, cardamom, and allspice. Natural vanilla gives this Masala Chai an added depth that pairs very well with soy or regular milk.
Perfect Brew: Brew with boiling water (212°F) for at least 4 minutes for a deep, complex flavor. The longer you steep, the spicier your brew will be. If you want to add milk but still hang onto the spice, steep for 5-7 minutes.