I am sorry, mongo, but I have to disagree with you here.
bong, it is westernized bengalis, especially ones from calcutta that drink their tea in the brewed english style. people from other classes tend to boil their tea, milk and sugar (with or without cardamom etc.) in a manner that would make your average english tea snob cough up their buttered scones.
I grew up in Calcutta, yes -- but certainly not in a "westernized" environment. I was brought up in your average bengali middle class household, and all the tea we drank was made this way:
* Boil water, remove from heat
* Add black tea leaves (or mixture of leaves and powder, which is cheaper), about 1 heaped teaspoon per cup of finished tea, to hot water.
* Let tea leaves seep for 2-3 minutes in hot water.
* Strain tea, pour into cup. Add about 1tsp-1tbsp milk, and some sugar.
Sometimes, at home, expecially when we would have a cold or cough, my mom would add some ginger or sometimes cardamom when brewing the tea -- that's the closest we got to a "masala" tea.
I have travelled around Southern West Bengal a bit as well, and most all the tea you find there, including the roadside tea stalls are made this way. Well, not exactly this way, but some variation thereof. For example the cheap roadside stalls use cheap quality tea leaves, they dont "brew" their tea in hot water, but they boil their tea (this makes the tea more "strong" so you can get more cups by using less tea leaves. This also makes the tea taste bitter...) in water, they keep reheating the tea. Sometimes they would add the milk directly to the boiling water instead of adding at the etc. etc.
But in general, there is never any addition of spices. Also, the tea is brewed in water, not in milk.
[ Also in those days, the cheap stalls would serve you the tea in earthen "bhand"s. Bhands are, unfortunately, becoming quite extinct with the advent of cheap disposable plastic cups.]
Are there excceptions? Of course there are. But my point is, in general, the tea you find in Bengal is far from the "Masala" tea that you find in other parts of India, especially in the north-western states.
For instance, in Gujarat, the tea you find is brewed not in hot water, but in boiling milk.
One time (I am talking in the mid-eighties) I lived in Surat for a few months and noticed a very strange thing:
Over there, when you order a "full" cup of tea from a roadside stall, they would serve the tea to you in a cup and a saucer, and the tea would be overflowing out of the cup into the saucer. You are expected to sip from the saucer, pour tea from the cup onto the saucer, and then sip from the saucer...
If you order a "half" cup instead, you would be served the same thing, except this time the tea won't be overflowing into the saucer. And of course the "half" tea costs only half as much. Since I was a poor student at that time, I quickly learnt only to order this "half" tea....