Did you know that tea is one of Kenya’s main exports? In fact, Kenya exports more tea than Sri Lanka, India, and China! Therefore, it's no surprise that tea is a huge part of Kenyan culture. Chai is Swahili for tea, and tea drinking is a tradition that is left over from British colonialism in Kenya. Kenyan culture really is an embracing of many different cultures. Whilst tea time is borrowed from the British, the style of tea is borrowed from India. Chai is tea that is made with milk and sugar in Kenya. Indian and Asian chai also has spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger in it. Chai is enjoyed in Kenya with breakfast, on breaks from work or school, after lunch - pretty much any time of the day!
Chai is often prepared in large quantities and enjoyed throughout the day, as well as being offered to guests. Many people recommend preparing the chai at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavours to properly infuse. When we have been served chai in Kenya it is often from a large metal pot that is heated over a fire outdoors. However, you can also make chai at home in a saucepan on the hob. This recipe is super simple but so delicious! We recommend using a high quality tea as it really is the star of the show.
- 1 cup of milk (you can use plant milk to make this recipe vegan!)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of black tea leaves
- 1 cup of water
- 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar
- In a saucepan, heat together the water and tea and boil for 10 minutes
- Add the milk and heat to near boiling
- Add sugar to taste and leave to sit until serving (be sure to strain the leaves!)