Chai meaning Tea, but in India it means a blend of tea, infused with spices, milk and sugar.
Chai is said to have started with a blend of herb and spices and did not contain Tea.
The history shows it to start in India dating back 5000 to 9000 years ago, in the Ancient Royal Court.
It began with a king who was working with medicinal herbs and spices, where he would brew up remedies for a range of illnesses.
In the 1830’s while the British was ruling India, and with Tea plantations increasing, the British saw a great opportunity to promote tea to the Indian population.
Tea was not popular then in India as they loved their Coffee, but when someone added spices to black tea with milk and sugar, Masala Chai was created. Making Masala Chai the first Chai to be created originating from the Kings first spice blends.
In the early 1900’s Indian Tea Companies started to promote mandatory Tea breaks at work, starting with the Railways.
Leading to Chai Wallahs – (Tea Vendors) along the railways to sell their Chai with Milk and Sugar as tea alone was too expensive. Soon after Road side Street venders brewing their very own Chai blends including milk and sugar were being served to customers across India, creating a new culture in South Asia.
In the 1960’s mechanized tea production was introduced making black tea less expensive and increasing it’s popularity further, making Chai a larger part of the Indian culture and lifestyle.
Today families hold on to the Chai traditions, passing down family recipes through many generations with their very own special unique blends, entrusting the family recipe continues on.
It is also known as a welcoming drink to family and friends entering a home.
Today Chai is widely accepted and served throughout the world, in all communities in either a café, tea house or in the home.
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