I love a good, soy Chai tea latte.

I was at Starbucks the other day, deliberately overhearing two women discuss the Chai tea latte as if it was the answer to world hunger. Which, now that I think about it, might not be such a bad idea.

Chai tea is like Christmas in a cup. But unlike being ready for the holidays to end after wrapping too many presents and eating far too many gingerbread men, the Chai tea latte continues to warm throats and souls through every season.

Known by its unique blend of spices and herbs, masala chai (commonly known as Chai tea) is hindi, meaning “spiced tea.” When ordering a Chai tea latte in the U.S. you are most likely asking for a combination of steamed milk, flavored with a spiced chai concentrate, instead of the espresso found in a typical latte.
Most masala chai contains four main components: tea, sweetener, milk, and spices. Using a strong black tea s the base, a sweetener, such as plan white sugar, is added along with spics like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. This mixture is then combined with milk and water and set over heat to simmering – infusing the liquid with the aromas and tastes of the spices. When the simmering is complete, the solid tea and spice residues are strained and you are left with a liquid form of masala chai.

Today you can find masala chai in most coffeehouses and certain concetrates such as Oregon Chai in the grocery store for use at home. So next time you’re out for coffee with a friend, order them a chai tea latte. It’s what I like to call spreading a bit of “chai cheer” all year long.

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