New to chai!

I recently took advantage of Teavana’s 75% off sale (I got $90 worth of top-shelf tea for $25) and despite my problem with the yesterday, the tea I got and the service they gave me was great! Anyway, I want to brew my chai with milk but I have no idea how to do that. I’ve read that I’m supposed to boil 1/4 water and 3/4 milk together in a pot (not tea kettle) then steep the tea in that. Is that what I’m supposed to do, or is there a different way? I tried adding milk after it was steeped but that didn’t really taste.. right.

Another option I had was after heating the water and milk, put the tea directly into the pot and serve it from there with a ladel.

There are so many things I’ve been told and I just want to brew a nice pot of chai with milk

28 Replies

One more question:
If you steep tea in milk (let’s say the steep time of the tea in water is 2 minutes), do you have to increase the steep time?

Alphakitty said

If you’re doing it over the stove, definitely. The longer the better actually, I usually steep with half milk half water for ~10 minutes.

Yeah I’m heating up water and milk in a 3:1 milk:water ratio. So definitely steep longer?

Alphakitty said

Yeah, it’s hard to oversteep chai since you really want a powerful infusion. Just let it simmer and do taste tests until you’re pleased with it!

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I tend to do at most 1/2 milk 1/2 water for chai. More milk than that tends to be too much for my tastes. Are you using 2 tsp (4g) of tea per 6-8 oz of water? For chais with milk you really need to use more tea.

Yep, that’s exactly what I’m using! I’ll try more tea leaves

try reducing the milk.. increasing the tea leaves may be a bit much. unless you’re stuck at using loads of milk

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Serenity said

Helpful perhaps? Best wishes! I love chai. I’ve been making it with a few drops of liquid stevia to avoid sugar.

I am using Teavana’s Ayuverdic Chai which already has all of the spices in it. Would I just put the loose Ayuverdic in when they say to put in the raw spices?

Serenity said

Well, maybe now that you’ve seen the traditional way to prepare chai, you will feel inspired to just go for it: just cook it all up on the stovetop in a little saucepan and see how it turns out! Let is simmer for a few minutes, the blend of tea you have, the milk, the water… Delicious, I’ll bet! And looking ahead to your next question, I think any milk would be fine!

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Has anyone ever tried using Vanilla Soy Milk instead of regular milk? I feel like the vanilla would add a nice touch :D

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I started with chai using separate spices (rani masala) and had to find a black tea I liked for the base. I found Numi’s breakfast blend for my answer, using 5 bags for a 4 cup pot (will be restocking finally with loose leaf soon, now that I have found it) 2 to 1 ratio in favor of water and I use honey to sweeten. The recipe I use has all the ingredients simmering together(says to boil, I prefer slow simmer to start due to milk) from the beginning. I do add the honey after the rest has blended a bit though.

much more recently I discovered blue lotus chai which has an assam base pre mixed in the masala, but I added more of the rani masala as I liked it spicier then lotus is by default.

In summary Whynotz.. you’re using too much milk. The tea may not be getting hot enough (boiling milk tends to make a huge mess) or the milk is overpowering the tea. Use 1:1 water to milk at most. I tend to use 2:1 water to milk as Kasumi here because I like spicier chai. The milk really cuts down on the spiciness (unless you’re unfortunate enough to experience Adagio Masala Chai which has LOADS of clove which overpowers everything.. but tastes terrible with milk)

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I tried a 1:4 ratio milk:water and it tastes the same (which is pretty odd). I guess I’ll just use it with 100% water (it really does taste stronger). It’s a bummer because I bought a pound of this stuff expecting it to get what I was after without knowing that a white chai is a lot more subtle than a regular chai. I should have seen that one coming haha. What is the difference between chai and regular tea, anyway? I always thought it was because chai was supposed to go with milk

ya just saw that was you posting about white chai too.. uhm. no milk. That tea also has coconut which milk entirely covers and/or just makes taste weird.

darby select said

Chai IMO is defined by the spices added to it. It is not required to add milk to chai.

Just go buy the Tazo liquid one and you’ll not have to worry.

yappychappy! you just answered a quandry I’ve had for weeks now! I couldn’t figure out what my Coco Chai just didn’t work with milk! Thank you!

In America chai is associated with what in India is Masala Chai. To be correct Chai is simply ‘tea’ And anytime Teavangelical.. just a personal observation about coco chai (which i like… without milk)

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I know this post is a couple of days old, but I love Chai so couldn’t resist saying my piece.

Chai is generally understood to be ‘spiced’ tea; I believe in India, Chai just means “tea”. Spices can include cinnamon, ginger, peppercorns, cassia/cinnamon, star anise, fennel, vanilla, etc. Soy milk should be fine and soy milk chai ‘lattes’ are popular here in Australia.

The only advice I would give is to keep in mind the ‘traditional’ recipes for Chai – which give directions to boil tea bags for long periods and the inclusion of large amounts of sugar and milk – assumed the use of teabags that were sold in India at the time. The tea was poor quality dust/fanning, moreso that today, and therefore the need for the large amounts of milk and sweetener to overcome the bitterness. The long boiling time was to be able to taste the spices through the milk and sugar which steeping wouldn’t do as effecitvely. If the tea is good quality, you shouldn’t need to boil the tea or use large amounts of milk but you will need to temper the spices with a small amount of sugar, stevia etc.

I find that good quality chai should steep for about five minutes and shouldn’t require any more milk than what you would normally add to black tea. If you want a ‘milky’ tea, you will need to increase the steep time accordingly.

Another alternative is to purchase a tea masala, boil half a teaspoon and sugar to taste in half a litre of water sugar for a ten minutes, add two teaspoons of black tea – usually an assam – and let steep for four or five minutes. Top up with boiling water to 400-500ml if reduced.

Ultimately, it’s just experimenting with different ratios and preparation methods to suit how you like it. Hope this helps.

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I bought an inexpensive Chinese stainless steel kettle which can go on the stove. It was only about $3. I make a small amount of Masala Chai tea with extra tea and less water, boiling it, then add sugar or sweetener like Truvia, finally I add milk and heat on the stove.

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Donna A said

Teavana’s White Ayuverdic Chai that you got, in my opinion, is a pretty good tea, though not really what I think of as a traditional chai. As someone else said, Chai just means spiced, so milk is not required, but with the right chai, I love adding a little milk. I don’t add milk to Ayuverdic Chai when I have it warm-it’s better without it. I do enjoy it mixed with Maharaja Chai oolong and almond milk for a chilled latte. For a more traditional Chai, I like Teajo’s Classic Chai a lot and you can order a 10 cup sample for 2.95 to check it out. Also, Arbor Teas has detailed instructions on how to make Chai Latte which refers to Chai with milk.

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Lazey said

Apparently you can enjoy chai without milk, for Christmas I gave my sister some Night of the Iguana and she loves it even though she doesn’t even add milk- just a lot of sugar lol.

When I make chai I make it with water but leave a lot of room to add milk, sometimes I add sweetened condensed milk. I’ve thought about heating milk to make chai that way but I think it would be too thick for me and then I’d have to clean whatever I use to heat the milk.

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