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2023-12-08 00:00:00 / episode: 326


Chai tea is one of those cool things that people think is popular and ethnic. and then the name came about as chai tea in North America.

of course there's more than that name and people use many names for it and there's a lot of confusion about it so I wanted to talk about What Chai is and a little bit about how you make it.


Hi and welcome to the Les Perras podcast episode number 324.

This podcast is excellent for extensive English listening, to help you expand your listening vocabulary.

Today's podcast episode is about Chai.

What is chai?

What is chai?

This is a complex question because chai really means different things in different places.

For instance back home in Edmonton, Canada we used to talk about chai, and what we were meaning in our minds was spiced Indian tea that had perhaps milk and sugar in it.

as it turns out, this is really a masala chai. and if you go into some restaurants you can find chai tea on the menu. well the origin of the word chai is with tea.

Simply put, chai is tea. but a lot of people don't recognize chai as meaning tea in North America so they said chai tea. this is kind of like saying tea tea which is silly, but these are the problems with languages and travel over large distances

How is it different from spiced tea

So now chai originally is just tea as far as I could find out. And then, the spiced tea is masala chai.

Masala means a mixture of spices. so you mix up some spices and Brew it into the tea and you have Masala chai.

and that brings us back to the point before where chai is basically tea. then you can have chai lattes.

at this point, I have to confess I'm a bit confused because I'm not sure what a chai latte is if it's different from a masala chai, and the Masala chai is the spiced milk tea combination with some sweetener in it.

so I think chai latte is just fashionable term for a drink that marketers want us to buy

How do you make chai

Before I started this podcast, I thought it would be interesting to find out how you can make chai but now it's less interesting because chai is basically tea.

So the question how do you make chai is basically the question how do you make tea and well there's a lot of ways to make tea but it's still pretty simple regardless.

I think it's more interesting to ask how you make masala chai.

There are many masala chai, because there are many recipes for different spice mixtures.

and all the recipes might start off with different basic teas like Ceylon tea or Earl Gray tea or English breakfast or what have you.

Where does chai come from?

The word chai is a Hindi word which actually comes from the Chinese word cha which is the word for tea. That's really cool to me because in Japan cha is tea as well. so this word for tea is very very International.

it's been shared across languages, even though the pronunciation changes slightly from language to language.

It also suggests the strong influence China had in the region.

The Chinese civilization has indeed been a very dominant civilization over 5,000 years, lending words to many countries around it.

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