Not sure if you should go for the chai tea at the coffee shop? What about a dirty chai—what's that like? In this article, we're going into detail about chai flavor, different kinds of chai beverages and how to prepare chai tea at home.
Ready...set...let's learn about chai!
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What Does Chai Tea Taste Like?
Originally from India, masala chai tea is incredibly popular and unlike any other tea you'll encounter.
That's because it's more of a full-scale tea beverage recipe with added spices.
Chai tea starts with black tea and fuses it with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and a dash of black pepper.
To this fusion,
and sugar are added, so you'll need to be careful if you want to try chai out at a restaurant or cafe.
Ask for soy or nondairy milk, but do be sure to check that a chai tea mix doesn't already contain milk.
The result is a robustly flavored drink, sweet, creamy and spicy with a slightly flowery quality from the cardamom and peppercorns.
Do You Have to Put Milk in Chai Tea?
You don't have to put any type of additive in chai tea—that is, in the black tea and spice fusion.
That includes any nondairy milk or sweetener.
However, it's customary to drink chai tea the creamy, sweet way.
Adding some sweetener and soy or nut milk to the brew helps to cut the spiciness so that you can enjoy the fragrant bouquet and nuanced flavors.
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What is the Best Chai Tea?
There are those who advocate for homemade chai tea, but premade chai teas in dry and liquid forms are easy to find in the supermarket.
While it's impossible to say which chai tea is objectively best, we can tell you about a couple that people rave about:
- Chai Wallahs of Maine Spiced Chai, a dried tea mix that's spicy with generous cardamom and ginger flavors.
- Vegan Oregon Chai, a liquid you just need to add your choice of vegan milk to.
It's sweet and mild.
Just be sure to grab the vegan version.
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What is a Dirty Chai Tea?
You've probably seen this on a coffee shop menu.
A dirty chai is a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso in it.
Usually, that means that it's a chai tea beverage mix like Oregon Chai or a powdered chai blend plus whichever steamed milk you prefer with an ounce or two of espresso on top.
Again, just make sure the chai mix your local cafe is serving is vegan and that the added milk is nondairy.
A vegan dirty chai is a delicious, spicy change-up from your morning cup of joe.
Chai Tea Serving Tips
Making chai tea at home is an art.
Below, you'll see exactly how it's done.
Plus, you'll see two different, delicious ways of preparing chai tea you may not have known about before.
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In this video, you'll find out how to make traditional chai tea the vegan way. You'll be blending black tea, homemade almond milk, masala chai spices, fresh ginger, mint and sweetener.
How about a vegan chai-spiced hot chocolate?
To make this cold weather warmer, you just need chai spices, sugar, cocoa powder and almond milk.
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What's the difference between chai tea and regular black tea?
Quite a big one, actually!
With added spices, nondairy milk and sugar, vegan chai tea is pleasantly strong, zesty and aromatic.
Get that added espresso shot if you're looking to break your coffee routine.
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