I keep hearing people say "chai tea" which does not make sense to me. While I'm not a chai expert, I did grow up drinking chai so here's my two cents.
  1. What is chai?
    Chai means tea in hindi. So chai tea is actually redundant. There are some people that argue that chai has milk and tea doesn't. Yes, traditionally chai is prepared with milk but it's still called tea in India.
  2. Where does tea come from?
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    Chai aka tea comes from a plant that is native to Southeast Asia. The origins are traced back to China, India and Myanmar primarily. This is what a tea plantation looks like in India.
  3. How do you make chai?
    Chai can be plain, where it just contains milk, tea leaves and sugar. There are other types of chai, keep reading.
  4. Masala chai!
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    "Masala" is hindi for spices. So masala chai means spiced tea. There are a million versions of it in India and people in different regions use different spices. Some of the common ones are cardamom, black peppercorn, ginger, nutmeg, cloves etc.
  5. Then what is the chai tea at starbucks?
    The chai tea at starbucks is the western version of masala chai, in my opinion. I also think it's way sweeter than the chai at home.
  6. My family chai recipe.
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    My mom likes to add fresh green tea leaves and has a preground spice mix that she uses, which has cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds and nutmeg. She will also add fresh ground ginger. It's soo good!