Tea (Traditional Iraqi Chai)

Tea (Traditional Iraqi Chai)

“Who would like some chai?” Not a day goes by where we don’t hear that phrase at least once, if not multiple times. You see, in Middle Eastern culture, tea has a purpose at almost any occasion. It helps you start the day, accompanies a midday snack, greets company, is part of conversations, acts as a vehicle for dipping cookies, helps you wind down the night, and the list can go on. At most major events, tea just shows up, unassuming and totally appropriate. Only a few things have this type of welcoming presence.

Thus, we found it fitting to incorporate tea in our blog name. Welcome! We are excited for you to join us as we share many treasured recipes from our ancestors, as well as some new twists along the way.

Bosas! (kisses in Arabic),

The Three Teas

Tamara, Tina and Tara

Tea (Chai)

Traditional Iraqi Brewed Tea. Compliments of Nesreen. 
5 from 1 vote
Course Drinks


  • 3 Tbs loose black tea*
  • 8 cups water
  • teapot
  • tea kettle
  • nonfat or 2% milk to taste
  • sugar to taste


  • Fill tea kettle** with cold water until right below spout. This is roughly about 6 cups of water. Do not fill water to spout as this will cause it to pour out of the kettle when it boils. Bring to boil. 
  • Fill teapot** with 3 tbs of loose black tea. We like the Alwazah brand. Fill with boiled water from tea kettle to just below teapot spout, this is roughly 4 cups of water.  
  • Place tea pot on a separate stove burner on medium-high heat. Allow to almost be at the point of boiling (bubbling), then remove from stove.
  • In meantime, refill tea kettle with cold water. Water level should be below spout. Place on stove burner and bring to boil again.
  • Now place teapot on top of tea kettle. 
  • Allow the brewed tea in the teapot to almost come to a boil again. Once this occurs, turn down the heat and allow to simmer on low. 
  • The tea is now ready. You can serve immediately or simmer on low over the next 15 minutes. 
  • Traditionally, many add milk and sugar to taste. We, however prefer to drink our tea black. You may also add boiled water to your tea cup from the kettle, if you would like a less strong tea. 


* If you do not have loose tea you can also use 4 black tea bags. English breakfast or Alwazah black teabags work well.
**A tea kettle is what you use to heat the water. This is the bottom pot in the picture below. The teapot is for steeping tea, and thus, the leaves should go only in the teapot. This is the top pot in the picture. We use a metal teapot, which is safe to use directly on the stove. Placing a ceramic tea pot onto the stove can cause it to warp, darken, or even crack with time.
Keyword Chai, tea

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