Indian Chai tea: how to make a perfect cup


How to make Masala Chai tea

mdtea co-owner Helen Taggart in Rajasthan, India, searching for the perfect Masala Chai tea

We love our Chai tea at mdtea. In fact our Masala Chai Express is one of our most popular blends.

So when I went to India last year with my husband-to-be I was interested to try a Chai  from its country of origin.

In India, Chai was available on every street corner, in the train stations and even on the trains themselves. This alluring brew was served in large urns, ready made, by Chai wallahs. As they pass you, the sweet, spicy aroma hangs invitingly in the air and at 50 rupees a cup it was even more irresistible.

The taste of the spices varied from pot to pot but all were very milky and extremely sweet (which might explain the decaying teeth of some of the Indians we met!).

It is said that Chai recipes are passed down through the generations and are tightly-held family secrets. The array of ingredients can include peppercorns and cinnamon through to cardamon, cloves and ginger but these are only a few of the spices that may infuse the milk of a delicious Chai tea.

Himalayan tea room serving chai tea

Looking for chai spices in the Himalayan Tea Shop

We visited a number of spice shops on our visit to the northern states and all had a special blend of this delicious mix stacked on their shelves. I brought back quite a few and have worked my way through all of them so I think a trip back there might be imminent.

So without further ado…

Indian Chai tea – how to make the perfect cuppa

Sugar is a must  in this milky treat. In fact, it is the only tea I will sweeten. The sweetness brings out the spices and it’s a little disappointing without a lump or two so it’s not a tea I’d indulge in every day.

It should also be served with hot milk and this too enhances the flavour.

As the winter months draw in, this tea becomes even more popular, perhaps because the spices remind us of Christmas. A cheeky addition is a tot of rum and if you are in the mood we’ve infused some of our Masala Chai tea with dark rum which we serve in a cocktail at Metrodeco tea shop, which is the Brighton home of the mdtea brand.

This is our secret mix which we are passing down through our generations of staff, once they have signed a confidentiality agreement, of course!

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures from our trip.

Helen, co-owner, mdtea.

Chai blends are popular in India

  A Chai tea plantation in Palampur in the Indian state of Himachel Pradesh

The chai tea plantations of Dharamsala

About Metrodeco

We're a vintage-themed online tea shop stocking the finest blends known to humanity.
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