The tea connoisseurs love their tea black; but there are millions of others who can’t have tea without milk. Over the centuries, these tea lovers have developed their own brand of milk tea, each peculiar to their region and taste buds. The simplest is tea with milk. Then comes Indian chai, tea latte and masala chai. Each has its own recipe, and its own flavor.
Tea with milk is also known as separate tea because the tea brew and milk is served separately. It is for the tea drinker to decide the right proportion of milk and tea. It is also for the tea drinker to decide whether to pour tea first or milk first. Some love to pour the golden yellow brew on steaming milk while others like to do the reverse.
Unlike coffee, cream is best avoided when having separate tea. It dilutes the flavor. Also, when going for tea with milk avoid oolong or green teas. These teas should be had without milk.
The Indian chai is an omnibus name for all kinds of milk tea served across the Indian peninsula. This tea is brewed by tossing tea leaves into a kettle of boiling water, allowing it to simmer and then adding milk and sugar. The brew is removed from the gas stove when the milk boils, and poured into a teapot or mugs that may be of porcelain or steel.
This tea is usually strong, milky, and sweet. In fact, the commercial stalls that serve Indian chai rarely change the tea leaves. They continue to add water and milk for each new serving, making the concoction bitter and strong. This tea is largely sold at roadside tea stalls, markets and commercial centers. The Masala Chai is the America version of milk tea known simply as “chai.” This tea is prepared like Indian chai but also uses spices, such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and so on. Pre-mixed packets of spicy chai have made the brewing of this tea easier.
Tea latte is another milk-based tea brew that is becoming increasingly popular on the West Coast. It is a strong tea with steamed milk and flavored syrup. The two popular syrups that are used for making tea latte are almond and vanilla. The syrups are largely used to enhance the flavor of the drink, very much like in the case of coffee. However, when selecting a syrup it is important to avoid strong syrups because they kill the taste of tea.
If you love milk in your tea then you certainly need to explore these varieties.