Ah, the wonderful smell of Chai…breathe in the aromatic spice and rewind!
Let me correct myself. The wonderful smell of a “REAL CHAI”!
Sydney is full of “fake chai” – you know that stuff made of chai powder or syrup? It tastes more like spiced milk, where real chai is strong and potent with mesmerising heart-warming spices.
We often get calls from cafe managers and owners asking for chai. When we tell them that we don’t sell Chai powder and syrup, because those are poor substitutes of the real chai, they seem to be stunned.
“Huh? Chai is a tea?” some even ask!
Chai, the Indian version of the milk tea, consists of black tea leaves boiled for hours in a large pot with water, then adding spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, then “cook” some more, then adding a thick milk such as goat milk. Then to finish the chai, pile on the sugar. It may sound pretty toxic, but actually, it tastes rather nice.
Ok, I admit it, it's ADDICTIVE!
Chai is loved by the yogi as much as the thirsty travellers greeted by Chaiwalla by the Indian train tracks. Traditionally, Chai is a strong black tea mixed with aromatic spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
And your kitchen would smell so nice with all the spices…
It is a tea not for a weak heart! Once you have tried this way of making chai, it is pretty hard to go back to your day to day version of chai.
But if you prefer the modern fancy version – the “Chai Latte”, here’s what you can do:
1) brew tea leaves in warmed milk, or
2) 1/3-1/2 cup strong chai tea + then top up with hot frothy milk
Here are some recipes: