I know that chai means tea and masala chai refers to the spiced black tea Americans generally shorten to just chai. To me, masala chai by definition includes milk, usually when I order chai there is no need to request milk, and in the 2 years I lived in the Himalayas, the staff tea break ALWAYS was milky sweet tea.
I've noticed that a few places have chai on their menu as a chai tea latte. Today when I asked what this meant, I was informed that chai is simply the spiced black tea with no milk, and if I wanted milk in it I should order the chai latte. This seemed rather silly to me, about the only way it makes sense is if they are trying to make it Italian sounding to fit in with caffe latte and the other Italian drinks on the menu.
What do you think? Does masala chai always include milk? Is chai latte redundant and/or unnecessary? Have you ever ordered chai in an American coffee shop and received black tea with no milk?