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How to Brew the Perfect Persian Cup of Tea (Chai)

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A well-brewed cup of hot tea is a favourite for welcoming of visitors in any Iranian home. In Iran, tea is the choice beverage, as it can be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A cup of hot tea always means sitting together with family and friends, and talking.

Before the advent of tea, coffee has always been the choice hot beverage. You can find coffee houses by road sides back then. And it was a favourite for travellers who are always on the road. In the coffee houses, travellers are would be served some food along with coffee before heading off to their various destinations. Coffee houses these days mainly serve tea, even though they are still referred to as coffee houses.

So, how does one brew the perfect Persian style tea? To do that, you’ll need a good loose leaf of black tea. You can make use of a china or porcelain teapot for this purpose. Make sure the teapot has tiny holes where the spout is located inside. This will serve as strainer. You’ll need a kettle also. The kettle will serve the purpose of boiling the water and also as a stand for the teapot when the tea is still brewing. The best option here is to use an electrical samavar, that is, if you have one. 

The Samavar method

1. Boil fresh water in the kettle. Once that is done, rinse your teapot with some of the hot water from the kettle.

2. The next step is to put 2 tablespoons of tea inside the teapot.

3. Pour water into the teapot. Add a ¼ of saffron powder into the teapot and pour the hot water from the kettle.

4. Place the pot on the kettle and brew for around 10 – 15 minutes.

5. Bring out your glass cups and pour the tea. You can include more water from the kettle, depending on how dark or light you want your tea.

You can include, raisins, sugar cubes or other sweets in the tea. But note that if you’re a serious tea drinker, adding milk or sugar or any other sweets will certainly change the taste.


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