Chai Tea? No please, Just Chai

One Tea Masala please. That’s the way to order what has commonly been ordered as Chai Tea. Why? Because Chai means tea. Ordering “Chai tea” is ordering “Tea Tea” so asking for “chai tea” evokes laughter from some Kenyans or just anyone who knows “chai” means tea. Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get to down to business.

Tea Masala, this spiced tea is popular in East Africa and is a part of every day life. Drank first thing in the morning, and really from dawn till dusk, it is made primarily with a black loose leaf tea and contains caffeine, though non-caffeine versions are possible. You can make Tea Masala at home with 5 ingredients. I know this because this heart-warming beverage was made multiple times a day at our home. I must admit to being a little bored of preparing it whenever unexpected visitors showed up. However, the joy that goes along with having guests is something I greatly appreciated and that was quite typical in many a homes. This tea is mostly served hot and can be great served cold. Listen, there is no wrong way to make chai! Take this recipe and tweak the spices, tea and sweetener to your taste, then sit back grab a book or sit with friends and enjoy it!


1 small Ginger root, sliced

5 Green Cardamom pods, crushed (powder works too)

3 tbsp Loose leaf tea

4 cups of water

2 cups of milk

Honey or sweeter of choice to taste


Boil cardamom pods and ginger with water in a saucepan

Once boiled add milk and let heat up for a minute

Add loose leaf tea and watch that it does not boil over then remove from heat

Steep for 3-5 minutes

Sieve, sweeten and serve


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