A tea blend that started without any tea at all.
Masala chai, meaning “spiced tea” is disputed to be between 5,000 and 9,000 years old, originally comprised of only a wide range of spices and no tea. While some believe it was made first in India, others argue it has roots in Thailand—though both origin stories tie back to usage by ancient royalty for Ayurvedic purposes. The masala chai that we know today first appeared in the 1830s, when the British began setting up tea farms in Assam, India. Black teas produced on these farms made their way into local recipes and evolved into the beloved chai drink that blends warm spices, black tea leaves and milk.