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Kenyan Masala Chai - Jikoni

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Kenyan Masala Chai

Kenyan Masala Chai

Family members are notorious for asking in Maasai: ‘where’s the tea?’ before even saying good morning to each other. This milky masala-spiced black tea is arguably the most essential drink in most Kenyan families. There is nowhere in Kenya you can’t get a cup of chai – well, maybe except a bar, but I’m sure if they have a kitchen they’ll fix you a cup. 

Preparation of chai does take a bit of patience as it’s made on the stovetop. Just as a watched pot never boils, an unattended pot of chai is almost certain to boil over. Chai can be consumed at any time of day. In the mornings it’s especially delicious with something carby like fresh mandazi, warm pancakes, or even toast with butter and jam.

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Kenyan Masala Chai

  • Author: Kiano Moju
  • Yield: 4 cups of tea 1x



2 cups whole milk

2 cups water

3 tablespoons fine black tea or 2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea

3 tablespoons raw sugar

1 ½  teaspoon chai masala (p. x)


  1. In a medium pot combine all the chai ingredients and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cooking until the tea had brewed and the chai begins slightly rise up.
  2. To serve, use a very fine-mesh strainer to strain out the tea leaves into a teapot or into individual glasses. Serve hot or over ice.


  • A fine mesh strainer is key here to get a smooth tea. If your strainer has large holes, simply place a piece of cheesecloth over the strainer before filtering out the leaves.
  • If using lower fat milk, reduce the amount of water you use to prepare your chai. Just be sure you still have 4 cups of combined liquid.

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