Masala chai (Hindi: मसाला चाय, literally “mixed-spice tea” Urdu: مصالحہ چاےٴ) is a flavored tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Originating in South Asia, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses. Although traditionally prepared by decoction, retail versions include tea bags for infusion, instant powdered mixtures, and concentrates.
In many Eurasian languages, chai or cha is the word for tea. This comes from the Persian چای chay, which originated from the Mandarin word for tea 茶 chá. Despite this, in many Western languages this spiced tea is commonly referred to as simply chai, which can lead to conflation. For this reason, the term chai tea, although redundant (as all masala chai is tea), is sometimes used to indicate spiced milk tea as distinct from other types of tea.