6 Tips To Make The Perfect Cup Of Masala Chai
Image Credit: Unsplash

Chai and India’s culinary traditions are completely inseparable, and if there was a beverage that could have become the nation’s national beverage, it would have been chai especially masala chai. Masala chai differs from regular chai in terms of spices. In a cup of masala chai, there goes a medley of whole spices, which are boiled along with the tea to give it an aromatic flavour. 

Video credit: Youtube

For those venturing to make their own masala chai at home, the journey can be both daunting and rewarding. The key lies in finding the perfect balance of flavours, a delicate interplay of sweetness, spice, and strength. While there are countless variations and techniques, a few simple tips can help guide you on your quest for the perfect cup of chai.

Use Fresh Tea Leaves

Using fresh tea leaves is crucial for crafting the perfect cup of masala chai. Unlike stale counterparts, fresh leaves retain essential oils and flavours, enhancing the brew's richness. Their robust aroma infuses the chai with depth, ensuring a delightful sensory experience. Fresh leaves also boast higher antioxidant levels, contributing to both taste and health benefits. By prioritising freshness, you unlock the true potential of masala chai, elevating it from a mere beverage to a soul-soothing indulgence. 

Check The Ratio

Getting the water-to-milk ratio right is key to crafting the perfect cup of masala chai. This balance ensures the ideal blend of creaminess and strength in flavour. Typically, a ratio of one-part water to two-part milk is a good starting point, but adjustments can be made based on personal preference. Too much water may dilute the richness, while too much milk can overpower the spices. 

Avoid Raw Milk

Avoiding raw milk is crucial when making the perfect cup of masala chai. Raw milk can harbour harmful bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, which pose health risks when consumed unprocessed. Opting for pasteurised milk ensures safety without compromising taste. Pasteurisation kills harmful bacteria while preserving the rich flavour and creamy texture essential for a delightful cup of masala chai.

Use Fresh Spices

Using fresh spices is crucial for crafting the perfect cup of masala chai. Fresh spices contain vibrant flavours and aromatic oils that elevate the tea's taste profile. When spices sit on shelves for too long, they lose potency, resulting in a dull and lacklustre brew. Incorporating freshly ground cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger infuses the chai with richness and depth, enhancing its overall complexity.

Use Jaggery 

This unrefined sweetener not only enhances the flavour but also adds depth and complexity to the brew. Unlike processed sugar, jaggery lends a subtle caramel-like sweetness that harmonises beautifully with the spices in masala chai. Its rich mineral content offers a healthier alternative, making your cup of chai not just delicious but also nourishing.

Don’t Boil The Tea Leaves For Long

When brewing Masala Chai, the duration of boiling tea leaves is significant. Overcooking can unleash bitterness, overpowering the subtle blend of spices. Instead, opt for a brief simmer. This gentle approach extracts flavours without overwhelming the palate. It allows the spices to mingle harmoniously with the tea, achieving that perfect balance of aroma and taste.