I'm assuming you mean masala chai? Chai just means 'tea' to native speakers I believe, it's us english morons that incorrectly mean spiced tea when we say it. If you mean just tea ignore my comments.
Without pepper, lots of other stuff. if my tongue is not numb afterwards I feel I've failed. but pepper is hotness without flavor, it is the bane of taste. I hate it. yet, in every american masala chai you find massive amounts of pepper, probably because it is cheap. Tao of Tea's 500 mile cha is my favorite american prepackaged masala cha and predictably it is without pepper. I work with a lot of middle eastern folks and always ask them for their own recipe. The only constant is fresh ginger it seems, and rarely have I heard pepper mentioned. Not a scientific survey of course only about 20 people from India, Pakistan, etc.
I like making my own with fresh ginger, cloves, cinimon, assam, condensed milk, etc.
Boil it directly in the pan in water for like 5+ minutes (I do 10 because that's the way I roll) then bring in the milk/cream until it's up to temp but not burned, then strain out into the cups.