Review: Kenyan Style Chai

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medimoose-028June, 2010 I took a little venture over to Kenya to observe and do some medical work. While in this setting, I found it absolutely delightful that "chai time" occurred every day in every single hospital, dispensary and mobile clinic where I was working. Chai was served every time I entered a home, which I did a lot because Kenyans are highly hospitable, at all meals and a few other times just because they deeply enjoy the drink.

I also enjoyed Kenyan chai, often. Since I had at least three cups every day, I had ample time to decide how I truly felt about the beverage, because it doesn't fit the typical cup that I would consume. I lean towards being a purist, but Kenyan chai may very well be the least "pure" tea that I have ever consumed. The chai is made by boiling nearly equal parts of water and milk (mostly goats milk) together and then brewing traditional black tea leaves in the opaque liquid. Inside of homes, it was served after a few minutes of brewing with a bowl of sugar on the side. In the work places, the cooks would put sugar in tchels.USA.churo-293he boiling mixture and then brew the tea.

I found that the chai without sugar was, at least, bearable, but not as desirable as the syrupy flavour of the sugar boiled chai. The cups were served piping hot and normally in stoneware metal cups- which is how I will always remember Kenyan chai. Overall, it was a welcomed sweetness in meals, between surgeries and nearly anywhere else because it was soothing to take a deep breath and a few sips and to push through the day.
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2 Responses to “Review: Kenyan Style Chai”

  1. Laura Says:

    Were there any chai spices added to the mix or just the black tea (chai) prepared with the goats milk, water and sugar? Interesting story! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Chelsy Says:

    Majority of the time no spices were added. However, while in Kajiado we went to a friends house, Angela, and she served a ginger chai. A couple of other times we had a bit of vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon, but I didn’t have the cinnamon because I am allergic to it. I was quite partial to the ginger and nutmeg versions as well.

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