**est. order fulfillment time: 2 - 5 days BEFore shipment**

The History of Chai

Posted by on

Here’s the sitch. “Chai tea” isn’t a thing. Maybe you’ve casually said it once or twice, but let’s dive into why you should probably reassess using that term ever again. The word “chai” literally means “tea” in Hindi. So, asking for a cup of “chai tea” is really you asking for “tea tea!” Kinda redundant, right?

Tea, however, means something a little different in India. Drinking tea with milk and sugar is deeply ingrained in Indian culture, stemming mainly from British influence. But, Indians made a few Desi-style moderations to the tea-drinking experience, using boiled milk and jaggery (sugar). But wait! Aren’t there lots of spices in Chai?? That’s Masala Chai a.k.a spiced tea! There are endless recipes and techniques for making Masala Chai, varying from family to family, region to region. But, any good Masala Chai will have milk, sugar, cardamom, and ginger in the mix. In India, the warming spices used to make Masala Chai are ground fresh into a blend, originally as Karha—a mixture of spices used in Ayurvedic medicine to heal all kinds of ailments. In the U.S., you can often find Masala Chai as a syrup, or in blend form with whole or ground spices.

Back in the early 20th century, the Indian Tea Association (owned by the British) went on a major, old-school marketing push to promote the use of black tea in India, offering a cheaper type of tea; though many vendors opted to reuse old tea leaves. Before this, black tea wasn’t super popular in India due to its incredibly high prices. Against British recommendations, many vendors would add lots of spices, milk, and sugar—more than the typical norm for British-style tea—to keep costs down. Factories and textile mills began to offer “tea breaks” (CUTE) to their workers, while the rise of Chaiwallas at railway stations began to grow as well—selling their Masala Chai in clay cups called, Kullhars.

Fast-forward to the 60’s, when Masala Chai’s popularity increased significantly after black tea was made even more affordable to the Indian population via an industrialized form of tea production. Today, the beverage is a staple in Indian culture. It’s become a way of life for most, often drinking chai throughout the day. Many homes in India will include Chai as part of their breakfast routine, and as an afternoon pick-me-up with snacks like pakoras, rusks, samosas, biscuits and other savory treats!

If all this Chai talk has you craving a hot/iced cuppa chai, head over to our sister restaurants Chai Pani Asheville, Chai Pani Decatur, or Botiwalla for a fresh, made-in-house cup of Masala Chai. OR, click here to get your hands on our Chai Masala blend--made with ginger, cinnamon, green cardamom, black pepper, clove, and allspice--and get your Chai fix whenever the mood strikes!

Chai Masala Spice Facts

← Older Post Newer Post →



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Recipes, News, Tips, & Spicy Content

RSS
Tags
12 days of cookies and cocktails 4th of July Ajwain seed allspice Amchur Ancho Chilli Powder Annatto Seed appetizers apple pie spice Asheville Baking Bay Leaves berbere Black Cardamom Black Mustard Seed Black Pepper black peppercorn Blackening Rub blue poppy seeds Bon Appétit bourbon bread Brining Spice Brussels sprouts Buxton Hall Barbecue Cajun Seasoning Caraway Seeds Cardamom cardamom seeds Carne Asada Carolina Pork Rub Cauliflower Cayenne Chilli Powder Chaat Masala chai Chai Masala Chai Pie Chai Time charred sweet potatoes chartreuse Chinese Five Spice christmas cinnamon cloves Cocktail cocktailrecipe Cookies coriander Coriander Powder CORIANDER SEEDS corianderseed Cowboy Steak Rub Cracked Black Peppercorn Cracked Coriander & Pepper cranberry Creole Seasoning Crushed Red Pepper Cumin Seeds Curry Cyprus Flake Salt Dessert desserts Diaspora Co. Dill Dill Weed dinner diwali dough dulce de leche dutch baby eggnog fennel Fennel Seeds fenugreek Focaccia for the health of it French Broad Chocolate garam garam masala garlic Garlic & Herb Garlic Powder ginger gluten free Golden Milk green beans green cardamom Green Za'atar greencardamom Halloween Harissa Health healthy healthy sides Herbs de Provence Himalayan Salt holiday Holiday Collection holidayrecipe holidays honey hors d'oeuvres hot drink India Indian Indian Blends Indian Spices Indian-ish interview Kashmiri Chilli Powder Lavender Lavender Flowers lemon peel Lemon Pepper Louisiana Collection mace Maggi Ketchup margarita masala mexican hot chocolate middle eastern Modena Balsamic Rub mulling spice mullingspice Mustard & Tarragon Seasoning mustard seed mustardseed New Product New Years newyears Nora chilli flakes Nutmeg oak & grist Okra olives Orange Peel Panch Phoron Parsley peppercorn Pickles pickling spice pink peppercorn Piri Piri Pizza Pork pork chops Potatoes Preeti Mistry Priya Krishna Pumpkin Pie Spice Ras el Hanout Recipe Roasted Coriander Roasted Cumin Rosemary rubbed sage sage salmon sambar sambar masala sangria sesame seeds Shakshuka Sicilian Sea Salt snack Spanish Paprika Spice Advice Spice Facts spicy star anise Sumac sweet potato Taco Blends Tandoori Masala tapas thanksgiving thanksgiving side dish thanksgiving sides thyme Turkey Rub Turmeric Tuscan Seasoning Rub vanilla Veda Sankaran Video Za'atar