Maybe you are used to drinking coffee? Well, there is another drink that you may like to try and that is masala tea (also known as masala chai).
This drink is hard to come by unless you know where to go to find it. Basically, it can be found in South Asian grocery stores that tend to be located in areas of Sydney with a significant South Asian population. These stores have a machine that dispenses cardamom tea, masala tea and ginger tea. They have one button for full cup and one button for half cup. Just take a cup and lid, which you should find on or next to the machine and help yourself and then pay at the counter. The cost tends to be either $1.50 or $2 for a full cup.
Some locations that are known to have shops selling these teas include Ashfield, Kogarah, Homebush and Homebush West. Look out for a sign outside the shop advertising the tea (chai).
In Ashfield try 'Daju Bhaiko pasal' on Hercules Street, near the corner of Brown Street, where the masala tea is only $1.50. In Kogarah, head to Station Street, just west of the train station and you will find a small grocery store selling the teas for $1.50. In Homebush, there is a store on Rochester Street selling the tea for $2 and in Homebush West, you can try either Thirupathi Mini Mart on Henley Road or Pyramid Video & Spice on The Crescent (both $2).
Thirupathi Mini Mart, Shop 4, 16-20 Henley Road, Homebush West
In Homebush, Cloud Café & Juice Bar at 3 Rochester Street sells a hand-made 'Hyderabadi Tea' for $2.50. This drink has a unique flavour and can either be incredibly good or a bit too sweet and pungent depending on whether they get the mixture right or not, but is worth a try.
I buy Masala Tea from upstairs in Woolworths Town Hall Sydney
Brand is Wagh Bakri - in a red plastic container - it lists 7 spices in it
I showed it to a couple of random Indians - and they both said 'that's the brand I buy'
I make it in an insulated mug - 1 heaped teaspoon in a deep fine mesh strainer (pre-heated with boiling water) that sits inside the hot water inside the mug – fill and cover and leave brew for 7 minutes - come back, add 1 heaped tspn sugar and milk
and it's just like I'm in India - tastes close enough to the many cups of marsala chai I've bought in several visits to India !