Oh yes it is “real chai.” The word “chai” means “tea,” and “masala chai” is just spiced tea. Etymology is not destiny, but anyone, including even the author of this article, will tell you that there is a huge range of variation in flavors and modes of preparation all throughout India and the Desi diaspora, which huge range of variation the Starbucks drink clearly falls into. You might think it is not very good chai, and I am inclined to agree with you, because more or less everything at Starbucks is way too sweet. But that is a different claim. #SorryHipsters
- Rad Geek (2015).