Masala Chai Tea: easy guide, top 10 best teas

 

What is Masala Chai tea?

Masala Chai tea, native to India and loved around the world, isn’t defined by a specific variety of tea leaf, a particular cultivation or processing technique, or even a preferred method of consumption. It is only tied to the refreshing fragrance and flavor of tea leaves, and the warming aroma of herbs and spices. In fact, that is what ‘Masala Chai’ translates to – ‘spiced tea’. A fragrant, invigorating blend of tea (traditionally Assam tea) and spices including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, it is consumed in practically every Indian household and has built a fan base in other parts of the world as well.

A cultural constant

In India – the land of Ayurveda – spiced tea historically held the position of an herbal medicine. Tea plants grew wild in the northeastern hills of India (Assam, Darjeeling, etc.). In the 19th century, the British East India Company noticed the region’s potential for tea cultivation. Over the following decades, tea (and black tea in particular) evolved into a daily beverage for Indian families. Since then, it has rooted itself in popular culture and lent itself to a variety of spiced, milk-based preparations.

Delightful variants!

Traditionally, Masala Chai tea was prepared by boiling loose Assam tea leaves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground ginger, cloves and black peppercorn with substantial amounts of milk. Besides the usual black tea bases (Assam, Niligiri, and Ceylon tea), one can now find Masala Chai variants made with green tea or caffeine-free rooibos. Ever since it found a global audience, Masala Chai has also broadened its horizons by lending itself to new floral additives, such as rose petals and jasmine or lavender blossoms. Tea brands and sellers around the world package their special Masala Chais as dry loose leaf blends, tea bags, and even instant mix powders and concentrates.

Tasting notes

Masala Chai’s caffeine-rich black tea base, together with its spices and herbs, results in a warming, invigorating, “fairly potent” and “full bodied” brew. The decoction method of preparation (boiling the chai with a generous amount of milk) makes a “spicy yet smooth” cup, “perfect for chilly winter mornings”. If your batch of Masala Chai has an Assam tea base, you can expect a “hazy amber liquor” with a “malty” taste and a “spicy kick in the back of the throat after each swallow”. The aroma of spices often stand out when dry, but get more “balanced” once you steep the tea. Considered “wonderfully strong” by high caffeine tea drinkers, this is a “good pick-me-up” for cold mornings or slow afternoons. Those who prefer a more subtle sip, however, can find the flavor “too intense”.

Tea tips

Masala Chai is best enjoyed with milk and sugar, the smoothness of the former and the sweetness of the latter complementing the strong tea base and aromatic spices well. If you’d rather not use milk, steep it for about 5 minutes in boiling water. It is important to note, however, that every batch of Masala Chai has its own unique composition of ingredients, and as such, its own prescribed steeping instructions. To preserve the flavor of your Masala Chai, make sure you store it in an airtight container.

10 best Masala Chai teas to buy online

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Tulsi Basil Organic Masala Chai

Tulsi Basil Organic Masala Chai

Bringing together the best of India, Masala chai tea and the healing tulsi holy basil herb, this organic chai blend is empowering and stimulating. A unique combination of organic assam black tea, tulsi, cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, black pepper, long pepper, bay leaves and nutmeg blended in ...

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Winter Spice Chai

Winter Spice Chai

An inspired deconstruction of vanilla-nut pudding. A perfect tea for winter mornings. Take in the warm aromas of toasted almonds and spicy ginger as you brew a cup of this decadent chai blend. Along with the mellow sweetness of almonds the liquor has notable spice accents which make for an ...

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Punjabi Masala Chai

Punjabi Masala Chai

A spicy masala chai that you won't find anywhere else, boasting a pungent kick of Bishop’s Weed and black cardamom. It’s unlikely that you’ve tasted a masala chai like this one before. Unusually strong for a masala chai, it includes Bishop’s Weed and black cardamom – two of the strongest spices ...

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Masala Mantra

Masala Mantra

With the right mix of spices, this is the tea to chase a flu away. Full of bold, spicy flavors, this tisane is not for a weak palate. It is a tempting motley that features an assortment of dry Indian spices, blended to perfection by our tea masters for a harmonious congregation of flavors. Perfect ...

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Masala Chai Organic Black Tea

Masala Chai Organic Black Tea

Organic black tea, Organic cinnamon, Organic cardamom, Organic ginger root, Organic black pepper, Organic cloves. I always repeat this order because it is so smooth and full bodied.Masala Chai is a classic Indian blend of bold, chopped Nilgiri black tea leaves and spicy bits of ginger, fragrant ...

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Coconut Crush Chai

Coconut Crush Chai

Rooibos , ginger root, cinnamon, shredded coconut, ginger coconut and vanilla flavoringSimilarly, check out our Red Hot. Blender's Notes:Enjoy a blissful crush on coconut from our creative twist on traditional chai. This craft blend brings together the beauty and warmth of South African Rooibos ...

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Red Hot Chai

Red Hot Chai

Rooibos, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla flavoringSimilarly, check out our Harvest Spice tea & Mile High Chai.. This strong spiced chai kicks the cold away with the season's boldest flavors: red rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chai spices and a kiss of vanilla come together in this complex ...

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Masala Chai (Golden Moon Tea)

Masala Chai (Golden Moon Tea)

Organic Black Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Cardamom Pods, Organic Clove Buds, Organic Pepper. a traditional Indian recipe that is spicy, sweet, full-flavored and complex

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Green Tea Chai

Green Tea Chai

A superior blend of fresh green tea from Darjeeling blended with choicest Indian spices like Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove & Black Peppercorns. Discover a smooth fulfilling aroma of fresh greens with delicious undertones of raw spices in every sip. The liquor is bright green with an energizing aroma. A ...

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Chocolate Chai

Chocolate Chai

Black tea, cinnamon bark, ginger root, cocoa nibs inclusion loose, natural cinnamon flavor and natural chocolate flavor. We've taken one of the world's favorite indulgences - chocolate - and combined it with the exotic flavors and spices of Masala Chai to create the ultimate treat. Chocolate ...

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Thai Chai

Thai Chai

Black tea, cinnamon bark, ginger root, dried coconut, cardamom inclusion loose, lemon grass and natural coconut flavor. Creamy sweet coconut and playfully floral lemongrass highlight this succulent black tea chai blend. Let the aroma draw you in and you'll swear, you hear it beckoning to come ...

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Really Really Big Chai

Really Really Big Chai

This tea is exactly how we named it — enormous pieces of the best spices like star anise, cardamom pods, cinnamon, orange wedges and cloves paired with whole leaf black tea from India.

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Double Spice Chai Black Tea

Double Spice Chai Black Tea

Tea BagBlended black teas, cinnamon, ginger root, clove bud oil, allspice, natural . For Chai lovers, more spice than our Chai Spice for an even more flavorful drink!*

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Chai Green Tea

Chai Green Tea

Chai Green lends a modern twist to the traditional chai by blending green tea with cinnamon, whole cloves, cardamom, ginger root and sarsaparilla. The result is a flavorful and spicy tea that goes well with milk and sugar and may be enjoyed any time of the day. Chai can be both calming and ...

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Chai Spice Black Single Serve Cup

Chai Spice Black Single Serve Cup

Blended black teas, cinnamon, ginger root, allspice, cinnamon flavor, clove bud oil, cardamom oil.

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