National Chai Day Date in the current year: September 21, 2024

National Chai Day September 21 is a perfect day to curl up in a cozy armchair with a nice mug of delicious masala chai since it is National Chai Day. This unofficial holiday was created to celebrate an Indian tea beverage that has successfully made its way to the West.

In many languages, ranging from Albanian to Urdu, the word chai, derived from the Chinese word cha, simply means tea. In English, however, it is used to refer to a particular tea-based beverage: Indian spiced tea with milk. In this case, chai is short masala chai, a Hindi expression that means “mixed-spice tea”.

Masala is a term for any spice mix in the Indian subcontinent. The spice mix used to make masala chai almost always includes cardamon and ground ginger. Other spices that can be added to the mix include black pepper, fennel seeds, chili, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, licorice, nutmeg, rose petals, saffron, star anise, and vanilla.

Other ingredients needed to make masala chai include tea leaves, milk, and a sweetener. Masala chai is most commonly brewed with Assam or any other strong black tea because more delicate teas can be overpowered by the spices and sweeteners. However, other tea varieties can also be used to make the beverage.

In India, masala chai is traditionally made with water buffalo milk. Outside of the Indian subcontinent, cow milk is the most common substitute. Some people prefer their masala chai with sweetened condensed milk that doubles as a sweetener. Other common sweeteners used in masala chai include white or brown sugar, honey, syrup, and jaggery.

The most common way to make masala tea is by combining tea leaves, water, milk, spices and sweeteners and simmering or boiling them. The mixture is then strained and served. However, the method of preparation may vary from region to region and even from household to household.

Today, masala chai is popular in many parts of the world. In the West, where the drink is often referred to as simply chai, it is often served in tea and coffee shops. Western chai usually tastes lighter and sweeter than its Indian prototype, which tends to be on the spicier side.

Some coffee shops use the term chai tea latte or chai latte to indicate that their version of the drink is made with steamed milk like caffè latte (but with spiced tea instead of coffee). A variation of the beverage made with spiced tea, milk, and a shot or two of espresso is called dirty chai latte.

National Chai Day was founded in 2018 by Somrus, a US-based producer of India-inspired liqueurs, to promote its award-winning Chai Cream Liqueur (formerly known as Original Indian Cream Liqueur) flavored with almonds, cardamom, pistachios, rose, saffron, and turmeric. The liqueur is perfect for making “hard chai”.

The best way to celebrate National Chai Day is to visit your local tea or coffee shop and order a cup of chai or chai latte. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making chai at home and experimenting with different spice blends, teas, milks and sweeteners until you figure out the perfect recipe. Don’t forget to post a photo of your chai on social media with the hashtag #NationalChaiDay to spread the word about the holiday!

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National Chai Day, food days, food and drink days, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, masala chai