The milk tea craze has emerged once again and has captured the hearts of many. I don’t know about you, but milk tea is that go-to drink I can’t resist after an exhausting day. It’s that comfort drink that makes everything better and adds a ton of sweetness to my day. You may have heard of Thai milk tea or the vast array of tea outlets around the Metro, but have you tried India’s version of milk tea yet?
Made from India with love, Indian “chai” tea is a traditional authentic recipe produced from a combination of strong black tea leaves and exotic spices prepared with hot milk and sugar. Often referred to as chai, it’s India’s most popular drink and has become a trademark of its culture.
Like the Philippines’ version of squid balls, isaw and other street food; chai in India is best found in their most humble street outlets where it tastes the best and is the cheapest.
What’s great about this prestigious classic drink is that you can adapt and innovate the blend to suit your taste. Personally, my sweet tooth prefers my chai milky and creamy, so I make sure to add a sweet brand of milk to the ingredients.
If you want your chai to have less sugar, you can do that by adjusting your ingredients. The main factor in making this vibrant drink is how well you boil your ingredients together for the flavors to sweep and blend.
That being said, here’s a simple chai recipe I make at home which can easily be done and what I consider as the ultimate comfort drink:
Ingredients for one cup of chai:
- Tapal Danedar Black Tea (you can purchase this at any Indian grocery)
- Alaska Evaporated Milk (recommended if you want your chai to be sweet)
- Prepare one cup of boiling water.
- Add two tablespoons of Tapal Danedar Black Tea powder to the boiling water.
- Add ¼ cup of Alaska evaporated milk in the mix.
- Mix for five minutes until it boils.
- Once done, place the mix in a cup and add 3 teaspoons of sugar to your chai.
There you go – the type of tea that will bring comfort to your soul. Like the British, who once colonized India, Indians drink their tea twice a day: in the morning and in the afternoon. The British established chai as a substitute to Chinese tea because the latter was considered expensive and luxurious back in the day.
Thanks to the abundant resources of plantations and spice in India, its colonizers established their own tea plantations, thus creating a hybrid of Indian and British tradition and what is considered as a staple drink in India.
For Indians, one beautiful factor about the Indian chai is that it brings people together. The same way that Filipinos love to get together over coffee, chai is a beautiful part of Indian culture that has the magic of bringing people together—perfect for an afternoon bonding with your friends at home or for a typical Tita afternoon. After all, nothing is more comforting than hearing the words “Tara, milk tea tayo!”