Why Chai Means Home to Me.

Why Chai Means Home to Me.

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but in the spirit of the new year, I’ve made a resolution to post at least once every other month. I’d be interested in hearing from you about what kind of post’s you’d like to see more of. Topics I’m thinking about including a tutorial on how to do a basic cleaning code in Python, a simple SQL match query,  and more of my general ramblings about life.

Now onto some ramblings. I had one of those luxurious, long, conversation and wine-filled dinner parties with a few of my close friends a week ago, and we played the question game. You know, that game where you flip through really intimate questions that would be strange to randomly ask your friends at a dinner party, but make total sense in the context of a game? Well, my question was, what is home to you? While others spoke about the physical locations that mean home to them, apartments or cities that felt like home. I thought only of Chai. Maybe it’s because I’ve moved a lot the past  few years, out of my parents’ home, into a college dorm in Washington, int in-law unit in Tacoma, back to my parents home, into an apartment in Palo Alto, and now into a cramped, cozy one bedroom with my inherited dog and boyfriend. No location has felt truly permanent lately. Wherever I can make a hot cup of Chai, I call home.

For me, dorm living was incredibly depressing. Going from California to Washington, where seasonal depression can be a year-round problem, was hard enough. Pair that with not waking up to a hot cup of ginger chai every morning, it was truly a challenge #firstwordproblems. The first thing I did when I finally moved into the basement in-law unit of a spacious home in Tacoma was purchase Lipton Loose Leaf Tea, milk, ginger, and Chai Masala. Finally, I was walking up to a hot cup of Chai. And while I immediately moved home to the sunshine after graduation, the last two years of college were when I felt the most at home away from home. Fast forward four years post-graduation and I had finally gotten the nerve, the income, and the ability to move to my first studio apartment. Guess what the first thing I did was? I bought these massive containers from Ikea to store loose leaf Tetley, Organic Turbinado, Chai Masala, cardamom pods, and organic ginger and whole milk ( hey I’m not a student anymore).

Since moving into an apartment with my boyfriend, who is a fan of coffee, I’ve switched over to a morning cup of Dark Roast, made in a Chemex. But if I ever visit my parents home, I demand a cup of homemade chai, just ask my mother, she has it prepped before I step in the door.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for:

Vish’s Family Recipe for a cup of Ginger Chai:

Ingredients ( can be found in most Asian grocery stores):

  • Loose Leaf Black Tea ( I like Tetley, no need to get fancy)
  • Sugar ( I prefer Brown or Turbinado)
  • Milk ( I prefer whole milk, in fact, don’t bother making with low fat, you can substitute Lactaid or full-fat coconut milk if you really can’t have any dairy)
  • Chai Masala (If you don’t have any, create your own with crushed nutmeg powder, pepper, cinnamon)
  • Ginger, grated about a ½ tablespoon per cup of chai
  • Water
  • Cardamom pods (optional)


  1. Measure out 1 cup of water
  2. Add ½ tablespoon of sugar
  3. Add ½ tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  4. Crush and add one cardamom pod
  5. Bring the water and spice mixture to a boil
  6. Once boiling add 1tbs loose leaf black tea and reduce to a simmer
  7. Add ¼ or less cup milk and bring to a boil
  8. While boiling, being careful not to let it spill add in a pinch of chai masala
  9. Turn off the stove and let chai sit for 2 minutes
  10. Pour into a cup after filtering out loose leaves, ginger etc.
  11. Serve hot, with a gingersnap or salty snacks