Chai – meaning ‘spiced tea’, is an Indian beverage made of black tea, milk, spices, herbs and sweeteners. Spices added to Chai vary from region to region, as well as from one household to another. Among the most commonly used spices are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Usually, whole-fat cow milk (or water buffalo milk in India) is used to prepare chai, with 1 part water and 2 parts milk. The mix is heated up to a near-boiling point. Then, black tea mixed with spices is added to steep. The most commonly used tea is Assam (Indian black tea) or in some areas, gunpowder tea. At the end of making Chai, sugar, honey and sometimes condensed milk is added to the tea.
Drinking Chai is an essential part of everyday life in India.