Masala Chai has been a personal obsession of mine and an essential part of my daily life long before turmeric. In high school, one of my first daydreams of entrepreneurship involved sharing my spiced chai with the world.
How it started…
I loved chai and the state of mind it represented long before I drank a proper cup. Growing up, I witnessed how my parents punctuated their lives with cups and cups of chai. My mom used to get me to drink milk as a kid by mixing in a spoon or 2 of her homemade chai. Slowly that ratio shifted and by the time I was a teenager I was a proper chai drinker.
On a trip to my father’s hometown of Jaipur when I was 16, I was so enraptured by Madhu Chachi’s chai that I asked her (my aunt) to teach me. In her kitchen she showed me how to boil the water, milk, fresh ginger and spices together and sent me home to Connecticut with her favorite Assam tea and some beautiful clay chai cups that I still treasure. From that time onward I became my extended family’s chaiwali—always prepared to make 4 to 40 cups as needed. I have lost count of the many gatherings of family and friends made more cozy with plentiful cups of my masala chai.
For years I struggled to get my chai right when making only 1 or 2 cups. I often traded the lengthy process for a simpler bag tea when just making a cup for myself. All the while, I was on the prowl for a way to make the big pots easier and faster and my single cup yummier.
I have tried so many ‘so-called’ masala chais—expecting that moment of bliss in the first sip—only to be disappointed. While there are thousands, maybe millions of great versions of masala chai in households and roadside stands around the globe, I’ve had a growing impatience as I observe more and more people in America are being introduced to chai that is just wrong. If you know me personally, you know this angst has been real.
As for premixed masala chai blends… I have often noticed the spices are not in the right balance with each other or the tea. Some of us like our tea strong, some like it mild, decaffeinated or even dirty. I wanted to make a spice blend that could be added to enhance the tea we all love and that is adjustable to our personal taste.
Chai masala (spice blend) is the critical element when making masala chai (spiced tea). My recipe has evolved over 20+ years and it’s a dream come true to be able to share Anjali’s Chai Masala with you.
I hope Anjali's Chai Masala will transport you to a blissful place with each sip.