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Chai karanga: TikToker’s tea making skills elicits reactions

Kenyan social media is buzzing with excitement as a TikTok user, known by the handle AJ Quality Cakes, has taken the internet by storm with her unconventional approach to making the beloved Kenyan tea.

In a viral video, the creative tea enthusiast showcased a unique recipe that deviates from the traditional method, leaving netizens intrigued and eager to try this innovative twist.

The video begins with @AJ quality cakes, a coast-based chef, pouring a cup of brown sugar into a pot and skillfully melting it until it caramelises.

She then adds an aromatic blend of spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger, creating a symphony of flavours that promises a unique tea experience.

With expert precision, she stirs the concoction before introducing a small amount of water to prevent the caramelized sugar from burning.

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The result is a rich, almost black liquid that sets the stage for a robust tea. Undeterred by convention, @AJ quality cakes adds tea leaves to the mixture, bringing it to a boil. The final touch involves pouring in whole milk and allowing the entire blend to reach a boiling point.

Netizens were quick to share their reactions in the comments section, with many expressing curiosity and others hailing the TikTok creator’s ingenuity.

@Eileen Owuoti reminisced, “We used to drink this chai when we didn’t have majani, I grew up knowing it was for the poor.”

@Sonnie kept it simple with the traditional method, stating, “Milk, water, sugar, tea leaves, heat to boiling, done.”

@Jackson Busolo injected humour, asking, “Hii ni chai amaa Guinness smooth?”

@Kelly(BigBoss) jokingly referred to it as “Chai pilau, this long process bwana.”

Sheriff Wa Murang’a coined a new term, exclaiming, “Hii ni Nini” “Hii dio chaii wet fry.”

@hellennaipanoi confidently asserted, “I don’t do all this but let me tell you Maina, if you take my tea, you will come to my house every day.”

@mercy shared a nostalgic memory, “Chai fry, we used to fry it when we didn’t have tea leaves.”

@nyasuba40 humorously added, “After the sugar has melted, you will find me on my couch with a bowl and a spoon, eating all the sugar.”

@Elsy Kinyanga drew a cultural connection, stating, “This is how Indians make their chai, you have to try it.”

@Abdialim, with a touch of budget-consciousness, commented, “I’m forwarding this to my wife with a budget of Ksh 50.”

@Amie expressed surprise, “Never thought I would follow a tea recipe to the end eish tiktok n shule leteni ya boiling water sasa.”

As the unconventional tea-making method gains traction, it’s clear that Kenyan tea enthusiasts are open to embracing new flavours and techniques in their beloved cup of chai.