Define: Chai

What you say: “I love chai tea!”

What I hear: “I love tea tea!”

That’s because chai means tea in Hindi (cha/chai derivatives mean tea in Portuguese, Greek, Czech, and other languages). Tea/chai originated in China and spread around the world with two different names: chai and tea. These names are derivatives of what the Chinese called our beloved hot drink: te and ch. Traders going to Europe stuck with the te derivation (which became tea) and traders going to India, Russia, Persia, etc) called it chai (derived from ch).

Chai, or spicy Indian tea.

+Plus: The term “chai tea” is used mainly as a marketing strategy and to get people accustomed to the fact that chai is a different way of making tea (milky, spicy tea). Chai and tea really mean the same thing. 

Stay caffeinated!

P

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