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117 Galisteo St
Santa Fe, NM 87501

505-795-7724

Luxury loose leaf teas, handcrafted tea blends and fine tea ware. ArtfulTea: where the ordinary experience of drinking tea becomes extraordinary.

Tea Wisdom

Masala Chai

Nick Rose

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How many times have you approached the counter at your favorite cafe and ordered a chai tea? Given that it’s popular year-round and is delicious both hot and iced, we’re guessing quite a bit. But here’s a fact that will stop you from ever saying “chai tea” again: the word “chai” actually means “tea” in several different Eurasian languages, so you’re technically ordering a “tea tea.”

What you know as chai is technically called masala chai, a blend of fragrant herbs, spices and black tea originating in India. That country is the home of Ayurvedic medicine, so many of the spices and herbs found in Masala chai are known for their healing properties as well as their flavor profiles. The chai lattes served at cafes are often made with heavily-sweetened, concentrated masala chai, but it’s easy to make authentic and traditional chai right at home with loose tea.

Like all teas, masala chai is easy to personalize. Traditionally, it’s made using a blend of water and whole milk, but can be replaced with coconut milk, almond milk or, if you prefer a non-creamy beverage, even water. To make it, simply simmer the loose tea blend with your preferred mix of milk and water, and strain out the loose tea when it’s steeped to perfection. No special tools necessary, just an ordinary strainer that you probably have in your kitchen already!

The unique blend of spices used make masala right at home in every season: rose and ginger are brisk and refreshing, perfect for warmer weather, while nutmeg and clove lend a traditional autumn flavor to the tea. Together, the unmistakable and unique flavor will prep you for relaxation and reflection.