Masala chai is a popular beverage enjoyed across southern Asia. It is a spiced milky tea that is known for its unique blend of spices and most people can't live without it. In recent years, chai has become more popular in the western world, where it is commonly served as a chai latte. However, the traditional preparation of chai, known as masala chai, is vastly different from the chai latte that is commonly found in cafes and coffee shops.

Masala Chai: The OG Authentic Tea

Also referred to as chai in South Asia, masala chai has been consumed for centuries. It is made by brewing black tea leaves with a blend of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black pepper. No two recipes are the same and each person has their own variation on the drink. These spices give masala chai its unique flavour and aroma.

You will often find chaiwalas (chai street vendors) brewing up a large batch of chai across every street corner. Traditionally, masala chai is served hot, shared with friends & family and it is often consumed in the morning, afternoon & evening. Basically all day.

Chai Latte: The Western Adaptation

On the other hand, chai latte is a western adaptation of masala chai. It is typically made with a concentrated syrup that contains spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. This syrup is then combined with steamed milk and a shot of espresso to create a frothy, sweet drink that is often topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

While chai latte may be a popular drink in the western world, it is not an authentic representation of masala chai. In fact, many tea experts and enthusiasts argue that chai latte is a far cry from the real thing. Chai latte is often overly sweet and lacks the depth and complexity of flavors that are present in traditional masala chai.

Choosing Authentic Masala Chai Over Chai Latte

If you are a fan of chai, it's important to choose authentic masala chai over chai latte. Traditional masala chai is brewed using fresh ingredients and spices, giving it a unique and authentic flavor that cannot be replicated with a pre-made syrup. When you drink masala chai by Amala Chai, you are experiencing a piece of Indian culture and tradition, and you are supporting local communities that produce the tea & spices in India.

In contrast, chai latte is often made using pre-made syrups that are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors. This not only takes away from the authenticity of the drink but also adds unnecessary nasties and unhealthy ingredients to your diet.

In conclusion, while chai latte may be a popular drink in the western world, it is not a true representation of the authentic and traditional masala chai. When choosing between the two, it's important to prioritize flavour, authenticity, and quality. Opt for a freshly brewed cup of masala chai and experience the unique taste that makes this tea so special.

Akhil Patel 18/04/2023