Beyond Chai: Masala Chai and Its History
Chai has been around for a long time and by itself, it actually means 'tea'. Originally from the Northern Indian regions, it became synonymous with 'milk tea', as they popularised making a spiced drink by brewing spices in milk. Later, in the mid-1800s, when black tea leaves were discovered in India, it made its way into masala chai recipes and has stayed ever since. Over time, many variations were created with different ingredients including black tea and many other spices to become what we know today as masala chai.
'Masala' means a blend of spices and Masala chai usually includes cloves, cardamon, cinnamon, and similar spices, and has become more and more popular. It's now known as sticky chai or wet chai as it isn't a powder, ground tea, or flavouring but combined tea and spice ingredients ready to be brewed in milk, then strained before serving. You can also add sugar but it's traditionally strong in spice flavour and mildly sweet.
Sticky masala chai is usually prepared with black tea, but it can be made using green or white teas as well. Other particular versions of masala chai use other spices like ginger and star anise to give the final product a more strong flavour profile than its traditional counterpart. It's known to be sticky or wet because of its fresh and shiny appearance.
Since the masala chai has become more popular; faster and more convenient varieties have taken over as chai latte powders. These sachets usually have some ground up spices, vanilla extract, milk powder and sugar to make it easier to make at home by simply adding boiling water. However, nothing truly beats the taste of an authentic sticky chai.
When made with premium ingredients, sticky chai has many benefits for your health as it's made of natural spices and ingredients. It was originally used as a herbal drink to help with healing because its many spices have benefits such as improving digestion, promote circulation and relieve pain. The types of spices vary across regions in India and this has allowed us, at Chai Religion, to experiment with blends and create our own authentic sticky chai. Recipes have always varied across families and cultures and we're proud to share our very own at Chai Religion.
Chai Religion sources all its premium ingredients from reputable sources to ensure its quality and purity so that all our blends are vegan, no comparison, no compromise.