Masala chai is traditional spiced Indian tea with milk and sugar. You can get "chai lattes" in many American cafés, but there's nothing like making it at home the authentic way!
I learned how to do this from a guy who worked at a chai stand in India, so I'm pretty sure it's authentic. ^^
The best tea to use for masala chai is CTC tea from Assam. This type of tea is usually what you find in "English Breakfast" blends, but I recommend loose tea.
You can use any spices you like, from as simple as cardamom pods to a fancy store-bought spice blend. You can crush or grind the spices beforehand if you like.
You will also need milk (or milk-substitute) and sugar (any kind is fine, I usually use evaporated cane juice.)
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Next you will be adding your tea, spices, and sugar. The amount of each to add varies depending on your tastes, but authentic masala chai uses twice as much sugar as tea (that sounds crazy, I know!)
A good ratio to start with would be: 4-6 teaspoons of tea, 1-2 teaspoons of spice, and as much sugar as you want. (A few teaspoons should be fine for most palates.)
Let the tea, spice and sugar simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmering it for a longer time will produce a stronger taste, but don't let it go for too long, or the resulting tea will be very bitter.
Slowly stir in 1 cup of whatever milk you prefer (I usually use soy milk, but almond, rice or grain milks should work just fine too.) If you want it to be very rich, you can use whole milk or cream.
Turn down the heat and let simmer for another 1-2 minutes (be careful not to overheat the milk.)
Place a strainer over a pre-warmed teapot (or use two mugs.) Pre-warming the teaware is important so the tea does not drop in temperature when poured. Carefully pour the tea through the strainer.
This is a great drink for winter, but believe it or not, it's an excellent choice for a hot summer day. Why? The spices elevate your body's temperature, causing perspiration, which cools the body. The tea and sugar provide energy when the heat makes you feel sluggish.
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