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Refreshing Common Masala Tea of India

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various knowledge and educational sites in internet.

A cup of refreshing Indian masala tea

Masala Tea

Masala Tea

Introduction

Indian Masala Tea (spiced tea) is very common in the Indian peninsula and is consumed by a large part of the population in all the countries in this area of the Asian continent. Many people believe that the flavour and taste of Masala Tea are addictive and habit-forming. This tea is not only prepared in the many Indian houses as a routine but available right in the small eateries or tea stalls to luxury star hotels.

Brief History of tea in India

Before going to learn the preparation of this unique masala tea concoction it will be pertinent to just briefly go through the history of tea in India and surrounding area as to how it was introduced in these parts of the world. The origin of tea as a medicinal drink is likely attributed to the time of the Shang Dynasty (1500 BC–1046 BC) in the Yunnan region of China. It is also believed that the tea leaf-eating as well as tea leaves boiling and drinking that concentrated liquid started at that time itself in China. However, a credible record of tea dates back to the 3rd century AD in China as documented by Hua Tuo in one of his medical text.

Tea is known by its scientific name as ‘Camellia sinensis’ and its cultivation started in the area covered by Northeast India, North Burma (now Myanmar), Southwest China and Tibet (now part of China). Later the plant was taken out and introduced to more than 50 countries from this main centre of tea activity. Due to change in climate and soil, the tea produced in different places was having different taste and characteristics and they further changed much with the different techniques of processing the raw tea. This gave rise to different qualities of the tea and accordingly their prices were fixed in the market. The export quality tea was always available for a premium price.

After the arrival of British East India Company in India and subsequent British rule, the commercial cultivation of tea started in the country during the period 1830-36 AD. In fact, Britishers could locate and find in the year 1824 itself some tea plants along the border of Assam area and the country Myanmar (then known as Burma). The Britishers provided land in the Assam area to any European who was willing to come to India and cultivate the tea in Assam region. They also started tea culture in Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon at that time) during the year 1867. During that time tea was primarily consumed by the Britishers and some of the native people. The Britishers also wanted to decrease the monopoly of China in the tea market and the idea of developing tea cultivation in India was the afterthought of that process. Tea was known as Chaai in India and still known by the same name. After this commercialisation by the Britishers, India remained as the top producer of tea for nearly one hundred years but soon it was replaced by China and became number two in the 21st century. India produces tea in different flavours and main are Darjeeling and Assam tea. There are many British brands which are still going by the same name and some of them are Lipton, Tetley, Twinings and Typhoo.

Tea consumption in India and the world

India is the biggest consumer of tea and it's per capita tea consumption is roughly around 800 grams per year. The tea market size in India is to the tune of approximately Rs 20000 million. Incidentally, world tea consumption is around 3 million tons a year.

How to prepare Indian Masala Tea

The tasty and nourishing Indian masala tea is prepared in many alternative ways and methods but I will be presenting here the most simple and easy one that one can right now prepare in his or her kitchen. One will need only a deep pan, spoon and strainer etc. for this.

Ingredients

The ingredients mentioned below are for 4 cups of tea. One cup here means about 150 ml.

Water: 3-3/4 cups.

Sugar: 3 tsp. or as per need (diabetics can skip the sugar).

Tea leaves: Any common tea leaves/ tea powder will be ok. Avoid green tea or high-quality leaf tea as well as the cheaper tea dust powder.

Black Pepper Powder: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.

Small Cardamom powder: 1/4 tsp.

Ginger: Fresh and grated, about 1/2 tsp (if fresh ginger is not available then dry ginger powder can be used).

Clove: 2 numbers.

Cinnamon powder: 1/8 tsp.

Milk: 1/2 cup.

Method

Break the cloves in 3-4 small pieces. Keep the water on the stove and boil it and mix tea leaves, sugar, black pepper, cardamom, ginger, cloves and cinnamon and bring the heat to minimum and let the mixture boil for at least 2-3 minutes. Now mix the 1/2 cup milk to it, stir it with a spoon and boil for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a ld for 2-3 minutes and the masala tea is ready. Now strain it and pour in cups. The colour of tea will be generally of light chocolate or brown colour. Some people prefer to take it without milk but the taste will be different and it will not be exactly like masala tea.

Balancing of spices

Spices have their own flavour and it is not necessary that every person will like and relish the various spices. So while preparing the tea one can customise it as per the individual liking by slightly increasing or decreasing the amount of a particular spice. For example if I do not prefer the cinnamon flavour much, I can skip it or put only a pinh of it for that subtle flavour. You can also experiment like this with other ingredients, if you so desire.

How to serve

The masala tea is to be served hot in small cups and some light snacks can be kept as an accompaniment to it. Many people do not prefer to eat snacks with it as it disturbs in relishing the tea in the ultimate Indian refreshing way. After preparing, it can be kept in a thermos flask and retains its taste even up to a good 5-6 hours. The masala tea kept in open also does not go bad for a good 3-4 hours and can be heated again before sipping. A cup of cold tea can also be heated nicely in 20 seconds using a microwave.

Relevance during Covid-19 pandemic

Most of the ingredients used in this masala tea are human immune boosters. They also contain antioxidants which are crucial for maintaing good body resistance against attack by the disease creating microbes. So, from that angle it makes sense to consume masala tea during the present virus crisis. I would suggest to add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of dry basil leaves also to this tea preparation to make it more robust in fighting the said microbes.

Sometimes, these spices create some gastric symptoms and acidity in some people and can cause it often, if these are taken in large doses. So a controlled use of this drink is recommended like taking a maximum of 1 or 2 cups in a day.

Variations

Masala tea is one type of tea and is popular because of it's peculiar spicy flavour. There are many other types of teas which are also relished by the people worldwide. For example green tea is also being taken due to health reasons. People take black tea almost in the same manner as they take black coffee. In this indulgence, people develop different tastes for different type of teas. Some people take ginger, honey and lemon tea in which in fact tea leaves are less and ginger, honey and lemon is more. In some asian countries sme people like to put tea leaves in boiling milk and drink it after straining. So, tea has many variations and one has to choose as per ones requirement.

A word to the visitors or tourists to India

Those people who are visiting India will find many tea stalls in the market area or tourist places where the ordinary or masala tea will be available. In small tea stalls, it is available for as little as $ 0.1 while in hotels and restaurants it can be around $ 0.4. At the same time in 5-Star hotels, it could be anything up to $ 2.


A typical tea stall

refreshing-common-masala-tea-of-india

Conclusions

Indian tea is a tasty and refreshing concoction and is an ideal drink in cool places especially where people do not take hard drinks or alcohols. It is not difficult to make masala tea and one can easily make it at home just after a few practising sessions. Please note that it is not a substitute for green tea or ice tea as far as the health benefits are considered. It is basically for the purpose of refreshing and drinking tea by tea lovers.

© 2019 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

Comments

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 22, 2020:

SKMUNSHI, thanks for your nice words and beautiful comment. Highly appreciate.

SKMUNSHI on September 21, 2020:

It is high time now to resume normal MORNING walks and stroll to our favourite Tea Stall to enjoy availabe Masala tea preceded and followed by gossip applicabe to the day.

But till things normalise and come under control we will follow your informative recepie so well written and try yo enjoy same.

One more nice article from a multidisciplinary writter.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 19, 2020:

Anurag, thanks for your nice comment.

Anurag on September 19, 2020:

Wonderful article and recipe!! Its been nice to read this recipe!! It seems to be a good immune booster and equally refreshing also!!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 19, 2020:

DRRAO, thanks a lot for the encouragement.

DRRAO on September 19, 2020:

Enjoyed reading your presentation on Masala tea.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 19, 2020:

Asthaji, thanks a lot for your nice words.

Ajay Ashta on September 19, 2020:

Wonderful depiction of Indian variant of tea consumption. We have been consuming masala tea since childhood, however, it's variants in a formulated article have added another taste to masala tea.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on April 18, 2020:

Brandon, so happy that you liked it. Enjoy your preparation. Be in touch.

Brandon Lobo on April 18, 2020:

I checked out your profile after your comment on my hub, and I'm glad I did. It is a long time since I've had Masala chai, I'm going to make some tomorrow.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on April 03, 2020:

Prateek, thanks for your nice comment.

Prateek Jain from Madhya Pradesh, India on April 03, 2020:

Tea is love and we Indians get attached with the taste and smell of tea in such a way that we need regular intake of it. Even while working in office i usually drink 2-3 cup of tea daily. It also helps to reduce laziness and give instant energy.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 18, 2020:

Rajan, thanks a lot for your comment.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 17, 2020:

Very interesting recipe. Masala tea is my favourite during winters as it helps in keeping at bay respiratory issues. You recipe needs trying which I will. Thank you for sharing.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on March 13, 2020:

You're welcome.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 12, 2020:

Fran, thanks for your encouraging words. Appreciate much that you visited here. We do not take this tea regularly but yes once in a week especially in lazy weekends or sometimes to lift the mood. You can customise it by removing some ingredient which does not lure you much. Thanks again and keep in touch.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on March 12, 2020:

Wow, what an interesting article and instructions with it. I usually drink Matcha tea, but I will try this one. Thanks for the report.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 07, 2020:

Mitara, happy to know that you like this drink. Thanks for your comment.

Mitara N from South Africa on March 07, 2020:

Masala tea is my favourite in all variations, can drink it morning, noon and night!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 24, 2020:

Denise, it is available as readymade also under the label spiced tea or masala tea. But the fresh one is customisable and so is prefered. Thanks for visiting.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on February 24, 2020:

This sounds like the Chai tea they sell here in a powdered instant mix. But I imagine that fresh-brewed tastes better.

Blessings,

Denise

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 19, 2020:

Anurag, thanks for your kind words. Appreciate.

Anurag on February 19, 2020:

Being an Indian tea is somewhat indispensable serving for me!!!

Your article along with the vivid history added a more gracious taste to it!!

Thanks for sharing!!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 01, 2020:

Samar Khan, thanks for visiting. Looking forward to your articles related to medicine.

Samar Khan from India on December 31, 2019:

Great Recipe Sir

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 28, 2019:

Frank, thanks and I am really happy that you made it and loved it. Great. Keep in touch.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 28, 2019:

just wanted to tell you I tried the masala tea...Loved IT!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 24, 2019:

SweetiePie, thanks for visiting. Masala tea is a good change as an occasional hot drink especially during winters.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 24, 2019:

Dr Pran Rangan, thanks for visiting and good to know that you are planning to have a cup of this refreshing drink sometime. I also take it but not regular but occasional.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on December 23, 2019:

This tea sounds really good. I should try it.

Dr Pran Rangan from Kanpur (UP), India on December 23, 2019:

A nice write-up. Though I don't normally take Masala tea, I will definitely try it. Thanks.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 20, 2019:

Ruby Jean Richert, thanks for your valuable comments. Masala tea is not very common and as people can prepare it easily in their kitchen so these are not in great demand and are not easily available in the street corner provision stores near your house.

They will be only available in big malls or something like Walmart.

Alternatively they are available in Amazon online but whether they ship it to that part of globe is an issue.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on December 20, 2019:

I love ice tea, but do not have the taste for hot tea. I have never tried Masala tea, perhaps I will, but I haven't seen it in the stores. I will look more closely. It sounds good with all the spices. Thanks for sharing.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 20, 2019:

Peggy Woods, really happy to know that you like masala tea. It is so refreshing. Thanks for visiting.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 20, 2019:

It is interesting learning some of the history of tea. I enjoy various types of teas including Masala. No wonder it tastes so good with all of those warming spices in it.

Robert Sacchi on December 19, 2019:

You're welcome.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 19, 2019:

Robert sacchi, thanks for visiting and nice words.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 19, 2019:

Louise Powles, happy to know that you are a tea lover. Masala tea once in a week is a refreshing drink as many people might not like it's strong masala daily.

Thanks for your comments.

Robert Sacchi on December 19, 2019:

A detailed article about tea in India that includes tea history and how to make it.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on December 19, 2019:

I do drink a lot of tea, so it was interesting learning about the history of this tea and how it's made. Very informative! Thankyou. :)

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 19, 2019:

Thanks for your nice comments. I appreciate.

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on December 19, 2019:

It is the first time that I have read about Indian Masala tea. Thank you for this interesting and useful article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 17, 2019:

Farrah, thanks for your nice words and comments. You are welcome to India. There are lot of things for tourists here.

Farrah Young from Lagos, Nigeria on December 17, 2019:

Great write and learnt a key fact here, which is that India is the largest consumption of tea. Used to think that title went to UK.

As a lover of ginger and honey tea myself, this is one more reason to visit India, along with my desire to visit the Taj Mahal and see firsthand a little bit of Bollywood.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 17, 2019:

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez, thank you very much for your detailed comments on it. Also appreciate your kind words of encouragement.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 17, 2019:

Aurelio, happy to know that you found it interesting. Thanks.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 17, 2019:

Ocfiteflies, thanks for visiting and also for your nice words.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on December 17, 2019:

What a lovely and informative article this is about masala tea. I particularly like the recipe and the advice that you give about lessening or adding more of a particular ingredient to suit one's taste. The history of tea was also very revealing, as I always presumed it was a British drink. Now I know it originated in China, and the British brought it to India. This article is so well written, that I hope that you will consider writing more often.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 17, 2019:

I do enjoy a good cup of tea and appreciate the information here. I learned something new about its history.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on December 17, 2019:

Very interesting. Based on your description, I believe you when you say masala tea can become addictive. Sounds delicious.

Blessings,

Kim

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 15, 2019:

Thanks for your visit. Good to know that you like lemon-ginger tea. Sugar is always optional. You can definitely skip it. I like masala tea. It is refreshing.

RoadMonkey on December 15, 2019:

That's very interesting. I love all those spices and drink ginger and lemon tea (no honey) every day. If I try this, I would omit the sugar and milk. I like cinnamon in my tea too sometimes.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 14, 2019:

Rajan, thanks for your comments. It is good to know that you like Masala tea. Yes, it is soothing to the throat and respiratory tract. During my initial days in hubpages, I had gone through some of your articles especially recipes just to see the formats people use here. It helped me. Thanks.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 14, 2019:

Tammy, thanks that you took time to go through this article. Ancient India was the hub for spices and other natural herbs and we find this while going through the pages of the history. Incidentally I also like Masala tea.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 14, 2019:

Prantika, thanks for going through my article. Masala tea is a delicious version of tea and many people enjoy it in the Indian peninsula.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 14, 2019:

I love masala tea and have it every day, especially in winter, which is the most appropriate time to start having it daily. Keeps a lot of respiratory issues at bay.

Tammy from North Carolina on December 14, 2019:

This is excellent Umesh. So many great things have come from India, especially tea. Pinned and shared.

Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on December 13, 2019:

A wonderful article with a lot of information about tea. Masala tea is really special and I love it. Thank you for sharing a great deal of information about tea.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 11, 2019:

James, thanks for your lovely comments. Hope you enjoy the flavour of masala tea.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 11, 2019:

Mel, thanks for your encouraging comments.

James C Moore from Joliet, IL on December 11, 2019:

The history lesson shows alot happens before someone enjoys their cup of tea. Enlightening. I'm gonna try this recipe.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on December 11, 2019:

Thank you for this captivating history of the production of tea in India.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 10, 2019:

Chitrangada, thanks for your nice words. Happy to know that you liked it.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 10, 2019:

Rochelle, thanks for your comments. It is good to know that you relish tea. Ginger and lemon teas have their specific tastes but masala tea is having a mixed flavour which is unique.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 10, 2019:

A well written article with lot of related interesting information about the Indian tea or chai.

We Indians, should be proud of this delicious and nutritious beverage.

Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on December 10, 2019:

Glad I came across this article :) Last year when I visited India I think I had Chai tea. At home I love to drink ginger tea, lemon tea and lime tea :) Interesting :)

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 09, 2019:

Thelma, thanks for your nice comments.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on December 09, 2019:

Very interesting kind of tea. I have not tried drinking masala tea. Thanks for the loads of information about tea in this article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 09, 2019:

Marlene, thanks for visiting my article.

Masala tea is a special version of tea but the common tea containing some fresh ginger and cardamom is very popular in India and available in small tea stalls all across the country. You will appreciate it if you happen to visit India sometimes.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 09, 2019:

Shalini, thanks for reviewing my article.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on December 08, 2019:

Very informative. I learned a lot about tea. I enjoyed reading all the tidbits of information. For instance, I always thought the British were the highest consumers of tea. It was interesting to learn that India has the highest consumption of tea.

Shalini Jadhvani from India on December 08, 2019:

A great and informative article. At many homes, mornings are incomplete without a cup of tea. Tea is considered as a refreshing and new start to a new and beautiful day. A good read.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 08, 2019:

FlourishAnyway, thanks for going through the article.

Masala tea tastes good when sweetened. If you have a sweet tooth, you can try this with sugar as per your taste. All the best.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 08, 2019:

This would be interesting to try. I usually have sweet iced tea if I have tea at all. It's always good to try new and different things.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 08, 2019:

Kari, thanks for your interest.

You can use tea bags. Just tear it and take the tea leaves out and mix in the recipe. Please do not use the flavoured tea or green tea. Use the normal tea.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 08, 2019:

Nithya, thanks for visiting.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 08, 2019:

Frank, thanks for your visiting the article.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 08, 2019:

I want to try this recipe but I only have tea in bags, will this work?

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on December 08, 2019:

Great masala tea recipe, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading about the brief history of tea in India.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 08, 2019:

thank you so much for sharing :)

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 07, 2019:

Audrey, thanks for your interest in my article.

A writer needs a cup of tea every 2-3 hours during his or her writing sessions. It is so refreshing. I also need it.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 07, 2019:

Ruby, people have liking for different types of tea preparations. Most of the time I take normal black tea or milk tea and occasionally masala tea. We arranged an international conference in India and provided masala tea continuously in a kitchenette near the venue. It was a super hit with the participants from various countries.

Anyway heartful thanks for going through my article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 07, 2019:

Liz, thanks for your comment.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 06, 2019:

I'm ready to have a cup of masala tea. I enjoyed learning about the history of tea in India. Thanks.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on December 06, 2019:

This article was interesting. I like to read about other countries. I also drink tea, ice tea, Thanks for sharing.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 06, 2019:

Coming from a nation of tea drinkers, I have read your article with great interest.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 05, 2019:

Thanks Linda. Happy to know that you are also a tea lover especially the spiced ones. In our country, India, due to Ayurvedic background people have experimented mixing many natural herbs and spices in the tea some of which have resulted in delicious concoctions.

I also like masala tea not as a routine but once in a week or after a long walk.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 05, 2019:

Masala tea sounds delicious. I love tea with spices. I think I would enjoy the version in your recipe very much.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 05, 2019:

Thanks for reading. I also prepare it time to time and experiment also by varying the ingredients. It is good fun.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on December 05, 2019:

I'm going to send this over to my wife to read. She is a fan of tea and is always trying new kinds so I think she will like the idea of this.

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