Cardamom, ginger, peppercorns and cloves are some of the things that make up a strong chai. In India, Chai is not just a drink. It is a concept, an experience. A cup of chai can break barriers between strangers, invite get togethers and allow simple chats to linger longer as you sip cup after cup. It daily unites people with smiles and understanding.
Milky chai is so loved by the Indian culture. During my yoga teacher training in India, I experienced this delicious drink each morning with my breakfast. When I traveled throughout the country I saw chai being served literally everywhere. All the small roadside vendors sell the beloved chai, and I became accustomed to the many frequent stops on busses or in cars where the driver would stop simply for chai. My initial inquiries would be “Why are we stopping? Is something wrong?” I soon learned that it was simply chai time. No need to worry, just participate.
I have tried to recreate this delicious drink so many times after returning home. My yoga practice just isn’t the same if I don’t follow it up with a chai. Black tea, cardamoms, fresh ginger, cloves, peppercorns, milk and cream are the keys to success. But I am confident there is a missing factor that only being on Indian soil can create. Although I have made some yummy attempts, nothing compares to the depth and flavor of true Indian chai unless you are lucky enough to travel to India and experience it yourself. May you be blessed with this experience!