10 Masala Chai Teas When You Need a Bit Of Spice In Your Life

Last updated: August 22, 2020 at 9:19 am

What is Masala Chai tea?

Masala Chai tea, native to India and loved around the world, isn’t defined by a specific variety of tea leaf, a particular cultivation or processing technique, or even a preferred method of consumption. It is only tied to the refreshing fragrance and flavor of tea leaves, and the warming aroma of herbs and spices. In fact, that is what ‘Masala Chai’ translates to – ‘spiced tea’. A fragrant, invigorating blend of tea (traditionally Assam tea) and spices including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, it is consumed in practically every Indian household and has built a fan base in other parts of the world as well.

A cultural constant

In India – the land of Ayurveda – spiced tea historically held the position of an herbal medicine. Tea plants grew wild in the northeastern hills of India in Assam and Darjeeling regions. In the 19th century, the British East India Company noticed the region’s potential for tea cultivation. Over the following decades, tea, and black tea in particular, evolved into a daily beverage for Indian families. Since then, it has rooted itself in popular culture and lent itself to a variety of spiced, milk-based preparations.

Delightful variants!

Traditionally, Masala Chai tea was prepared by boiling loose Assam tea leaves, green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground ginger, cloves and black peppercorn with substantial amounts of milk. Besides the usual black tea bases (Assam, Niligiri, and Ceylon tea), one can now find Masala Chai variants made with green tea or caffeine-free rooibos. Ever since it found a global audience, Masala Chai has also broadened its horizons by lending itself to new floral additives, such as rose petals and jasmine or lavender blossoms. Tea brands and sellers around the world package their special Masala Chais as dry loose leaf blends, tea bags, and even instant mix powders and concentrates.

What is the difference between chai and masala chai?

Simply put, the word ‘chai’ translates to ‘tea’ in Hindi. In India, ‘chai’ generally refers to a preparation of sweet, milky black tea. So if you’re buying a pack of chai tea, it will likely contain black Assam tea that you can consume with milk and sugar. Often, chai tea may be referred to as chai latte in the west – again because of the added milk and sugar. Note that instant chai lattes may be sweeter than the chai tea you brew from scratch. ‘Masala chai’ means ‘spiced tea’ in Hindi, so you’re going to find spices like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in it. It’s essentially a spiced black Indian tea that you consume with generous quantities of milk and sugar.

Tasting notes in reviews

Masala Chai’s caffeine-rich black tea base, together with its spices and herbs, results in a warming, invigorating, “fairly potent” and “full bodied” brew. The decoction method of preparation (boiling the chai with a generous amount of milk) makes a “spicy yet smooth” cup, “perfect for chilly winter mornings”. If your batch of Masala Chai has an Assam tea base, you can expect a “hazy amber liquor” with a “malty” taste and a “spicy kick in the back of the throat after each swallow”. The aroma of spices often stand out when dry, but get more “balanced” once you steep the tea. Considered “wonderfully strong” by high caffeine tea drinkers, this is a “good pick-me-up” for cold mornings or slow afternoons. Those who prefer a more subtle sip, however, can find the flavor “too intense”.

Tea tips

Masala Chai is best enjoyed with milk and sugar, the smoothness of the former and the sweetness of the latter complementing the strong tea base and aromatic spices well. If you’d rather not use milk, steep it for about 5 minutes in boiling water. It is important to note, however, that every batch of Masala Chai has its own unique composition of ingredients, and as such, its own prescribed steeping instructions. To preserve the flavor of your Masala Chai, make sure you store it in an airtight container.

Our go-to place to stock up on all Indian teas, including Masala Chai is Vahdam Teas online store.

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Vahdam Teas Online Store

Vahdam Teas Online Store

The quality of their products is superb, shipping is fast and customer service is excellent, no wonder that Vahdam Teas have been featured in Oprah's Favorites. All teas are cleaned, processed and packed packed directly at the source and then air shipped to local fulfillment center in USA. Orders shipped by Fedex for quick delivery. Use our exclusive coupon MADTEA15 for a 15% discount storewide (2 uses per user).

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Masala Chai Tea Organic

Masala Chai Tea Organic

This wonderfully unique and uplifting spicy Chai blend gives the traditional Chai tea a welcomed boost. The combination of Tulsi and Assam tea give this blend a rich, full-bodied flavor with aromatic notes of cinnamon and ginger. The Tulsi (Holy Basil) Tea blend is a wonderfully unique and healthful tea providing the diverse therapeutic properties of all three Holy Basil varieties. It is a tasty combination for Chai lovers that can also help give you a relaxed, balanced state of mind and body, while promoting health and well-being. Chai Teas are usually sweetened, so try adding a pinch of stevia, a dash of vanilla, or even milk. It tastes great whether served hot or cold!  
Turmeric Chai Tea Organic

Turmeric Chai Tea Organic

TThis tasty tea blend gives a therapeutic twist to the traditional Chai Tea, without being blended with green or black teas. The primary active ingredient in Turmeric is curcumin, a potent antioxidant to help promote optimum health and well-being and support and your body's natural defenses. This uniquely different flavorful blend offers a delicious chai flavor while providing you with therapeutic qualities. Chai Teas are usually sweetened, so try adding a pinch of stevia, a dash of vanilla, or even milk. It tastes great whether served hot or cold! Caffeine-Free.
Rooibos Chai Tea

Rooibos Chai Tea

A stunning caffeine free alternative to the classic Indian inspired chai tea. Sip this full and savory blend any time of day to spice up your tea routine.
Green Tea Masala Chai

Green Tea Masala Chai

A skillfully curated blend of the best green teas from the splendid region of Darjeeling blended with the choicest, aromatic Indian spices like cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and black peppercorns. Indulge in a bright liquor carrying an energizing aroma, the signature flavor of fresh greens, and tantalizing warm tones of fresh spices in every sip. A unique chai tea blend, fit for the likes of connoisseurs and beginners alike!
Tulsi Basil Masala Chai

Tulsi Basil Masala Chai

The traditional Indian Masala Chai with the treasured health benefits of Tulsi (basil). An assortment of fresh, aromatic spices like fresh ginger, green and brown cardamom, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, nutmeg and mace come together with the subtle sweet tones of basil in this robust, flavourful Assam Black Tea. Perfect for A soothing, healing and rejuvenating cup, with a medley of flavours, that pleases your senses from the first sip.
Kashmiri Kahwa

Kashmiri Kahwa

Kahwa is a traditional green tea preparation made with exotic spices. Our signature blend features fine green tea which has been combined with rich ingredients, including cardamom, almonds, cinnamon and cloves. Its signature flavor is derived from the use of saffron strands, that are included in the blend. A truly celebratory tea, Kahwa is best served during brunch hours.
India’S Original Masala Chai Tea

India’S Original Masala Chai Tea

  • An iconic, traditional Indian blend of signature Assam CTC with a myriad of aromatic Indian spices - Cardamom pods, Cinnamon, Cloves & Black Pepper
  • 100% Natural Ingredients
  • Directly Sourced, Vacuum Sealed & Packed
  • Can be served as Milk Tea

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