… Chai Latte – for those who have a taste for this spicy tea …

I remember ordering my first Chai latte when I was in high school, thinking that it was some kind of flavoured coffee like hazelnut latte. Chai latte is actually a tea beverage flavoured by various Indian spices and herbs, brewed with milk. In western culture, people immediately relate to the package of Indian spices and herbs like cinnamon, ginger and cloves when being asked of what ‘Chai’ is. I was once talking to one of my colleagues from Turkey about ‘Chai’, and he told me how he found it strange that people think Chai is a special kind of tea or flavour, as in Turkey (and in many Eurasian countries as well) Chai simply means ‘tea’. The name for Chai latte in Hindi is Masala Chai, meaning mixed-spice tea. 

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My friends and I went for some Chai lattes at Kawa in Surry Hills on a cold winter day. Kawa is famous for the brewed Chai latte they serve, but I personally like my Chai more concentrated so the one I had wasn’t brewed in a pot but looked like a latte. I had my Chai with some coconut cake and it was so comforting.

Click to add a blog post for Kawa on Zomato

… Kawa is located on 348 Crown St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 … https://www.facebook.com/kawaoncrown
It’s hard to find Chai latte in Hong Kong so I have been trying to make a simpler one at home. After the first two trials, what I had come up with were rather tasteless and watery, because I brewed my black tea with hot water like how we usually make English tea. Trying to think from the perspective of making an espresso based drink, I boiled my tea for over 20 minutes this time to reduce the volume of the tea in half. I also used some Ceylon tea leaves with cinnamon that I found in my kitchen to make my Chai.


… Chai Latte (Masala Chai) …
Makes 1 cup of sweetened Chai tea which is enough for making 4 cups of Chai latte
… 2 cups of water
… 3 tsp of Ceylon tea leaves (black tea will also do)
… 2 slices of fresh ginger
… 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
… 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
… 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
… 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
… 30g of brown sugar
… milk for the latte
… extra cinnamon powder to garnish
… honey, raw sugar or brown sugar to add into the tea if it’s not sweet enough


1. Place tea leaves and ground spices into a disposable tea bag.
2. In an uncovered saucepan, boil water with ginger slices and the disposable tea bag with low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the volume of the liquid has reduced into half (from 2 cups to 1 cup)
3. Add in brown sugar and boil until completely dissolved
4. Let the tea cool down and pour 1/4 cup of tea into a cup
5. Froth the milk using a milk frother (or you can heat up the milk and use a hand blender to froth the milk {instructions here})
6. Pour the hot and frothy milk into the tea, add extra honey or sugar if it’s not sweet enough
7. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top and serve warm
8. Store the leftover Chai tea in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

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