Learn the Benefits of Chai Tea and Why You Should Add Chai to Your List of the Best Teas!
We love chai. For one thing, that spiced chai fall flavor is perfect for a crisp autumn morning! With warm aromatics, rich spicy undertones, and subtly sweet nuances, this type of black tea can be a fantastic way to wake up in the morning, soothe the symptoms of a cold, and can even boost your health with its many antioxidants!
Indeed, if you like to regularly drink chai when the weather gets chilly, you will be pleased to know that it offers numerous health benefits and has immune-system-boosting properties! Since chai contains spices like cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and ginger, it offers the health advantages of black tea, and then some!
In this helpful guide, you will find out everything you need to know about chai tea! That way, if you want to try this tea but are wondering how chai tastes, what ingredients chai contains, and why you should consider trying chai for the first time, you can learn various helpful tea facts and become fully informed about this delicious spiced libation that originated in India!
The History of Chai: All About Chai Tea and Its Origins
Masala chai, sometimes known as mixed spice tea, or simply, chai tea, is a popular beverage originating in early modern India, likely sometime after the 1830s. Throughout southern Asia and many parts of the Middle East, black tea chai blends were brewed and mixed with milk and water and then sweetened with sugar or enhanced with aromatic herbs and spices.
The classic blend of spices used in chai can be traced back thousands of years in Indian culture. Many of these spices are even used in ancient remedies and alternative medicines!
Is Chai Tea Good for You?
Chai tea can be incredibly beneficial to your health. Not only can it boost your immune system because it is rich in antioxidants (from black tea and its spices), but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Since ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and cardamom (common ingredients in chai spice) all have their own healthy benefits, when these spices are mixed with black tea, there are many advantages to consuming this drink for health and well-being.
Reasons Why Chai is Good for Your Health:
- Ginger - Chai contains ginger, which is widely known to help with things like mental alertness, reduced inflammation, and boosting the mood.
- Cloves - Cloves are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. They can boost the immunity system and help improve brain functionality. Cloves also have anti-inflammatory properties, pain reducing benefits, and a natural sweetness.
- Star Anise - The powerful bioactive compounds in star anise may help treat an array of fungal, viral, or bacterial infections.
- Cardamom - Preliminary research studies suggest that cardamom is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, and antioxidant compound.
- Cinnamon - Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant, a powerful anti-inflammatory, and a powerful antibacterial spice. According to BBC Good Food, it also has antiviral and antifungal properties and may even help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes!
Overall, chai tea is a fantastic choice if you are looking for a delicious beverage that can also work toward better health and wellness! Not to mention, almost all chai tea blends contain cinnamon. As many know, the health benefits of cinnamon are numerous!
Types of Chai
There are many different types of chai tea with varying spice blends. Some types of chai are prepared un-spiced, while Masala chai generally has more aromatic spices and a stronger taste. The word chai originates from a Chinese word meaning tea; translated into Hindi, it became 'chai’.
Ingredients of Chai Tea
Chai tea can contain various different spices and can be enhanced using an array of flavoring combinations. However, usually, chai implements a base of black tea leaves with a spice mixture known as Karha. This mixture of spices and aromatic herbs contains ground ginger, green cardamom, star anise, fennel, and cinnamon.
Some types of chai will also use more ingredients (like cloves) for a bold, spiced flavor. Honey and vanilla are some other popular flavors found in chai tea drinks. Traditionally, milk (in India, buffalo milk) is used in chai tea drinks to create a smooth, creamy texture and balance the spiced flavors. We recommend using whole milk, from a cow, however, for convenience sake.
FAQs on Chai Tea and Its Benefits
Now that you know a little bit more about this tea, let's go over some common questions about chai.
What is In Chai Tea?
So exactly what is chai tea? Chai tea implements a delicious Indian spice blend known as Karha. Generally, you can expect your chai tea to contain black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fennel, star anise, and ginger. Chai tea also usually contains milk and some sort of sweetener like honey or sugar. Chai tea can have other flavors like caramel, vanilla, and almond, too. It all depends on the type of chai you get.
What Does Chai Mean?
Chai is a Hindi word that derives from the Chinese word for tea. This Indian tea is made by boiling tea leaves with spices, milk, sugar, and cardamom.
What Does Chai Taste Like?
Chai tea tastes like cinnamon-spiced black tea with creamy milk. Usually, this tea is sweetened as well. If you like sweet creamy drinks with the flavors of cinnamon and spices, there's a good chance that you will enjoy the taste of chai tea.
Why Does Chai Taste Like Cinnamon?
Chai tea often tastes like cinnamon because it contains cinnamon as well as various other popular Indian spices.
Why does chai taste like pumpkins?
The spice blend used in chai is very similar to that which is found in pumpkin spice flavorings. Pumpkin spice is a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice. Chai often contains a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise, and ginger. So, the warm cinnamon and ginger in chai can make it taste similar to pumpkin spice flavor.
Is a Chai Latte Coffee?
Typically, chai tea lattes do not contain coffee. Instead, they Implement a blend of black spiced chai tea and hot milk with a sweetener of some kind. So, a chai tea latte can be very similar to an espresso latte, but instead of having coffee, the latte will contain chai tea. However, a ‘Dirty Chai’ is a chai latte that contains espresso. So, if you want coffee in your chai tea latte, order it with a shot of espresso, or order a 'Dirty Chai' latte.
Is Chai Caffeinated?
Most commonly, the tea base in chai is black tea. Since all black teas contain caffeine, so will all traditional chai tea blends. The exact levels of caffeine in chai tea can vary from blend to blend. As a good rule of thumb, remember that a cup of brewed black chai tea contains about half as much caffeine as a cup of brewed black coffee.
Is Chai Good for a Sore Throat?
Yes, chai tea can be fantastic for a sore throat! Chai tea can also help you get over a cold. Not only does the classic chai blend contain antioxidants that may help fight infections and viral illnesses, but these antioxidants can give a boost to your immune system, soothe headaches, reduce nausea, clear the sinuses, and more. With spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and anise, chai tea is one of the best teas for a sore throat.
Plus, drinking chai tea helps to keep you hydrated, and warm hot liquids are good for helping to soothe your sinuses when you are sick or dealing with mucus-related respiratory issues. However, the black tea in chai does contain a bit of caffeine, so keep this in mind as well. Decaf chai tea is usually an amazing choice for fighting any cold or flu-like illness!
Can Chai Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, an amazing benefit of chai tea is its ability to help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Chai tea has many ingredients that can help boost metabolic health like ginger and cinnamon. Moreover, Ceylon cinnamon can be very good for managing blood sugar. However, chai tea is also often made with sugar and milk. So, if you want to drink chai tea for weight loss, consider drinking it black without milk or sugar.
Is there Sugar in Chai Tea?
It depends. Many milky chai tea beverages contain sweeteners like honey or sugar. However, there is usually no sugar in a dry tea bag or a loose-leaf blend of chai tea before it is brewed. The inherent sweetness in chai spice actually comes from the cloves and cinnamon.
Chai Tea Brewing Tips
Do you love chai? Maybe, you are looking to indulge in the chai fall flavor and want to know how to make milk tea with chai or how to correctly brew chai at home. To brew the best chai, always select fresh black tea. Then, brew it to the strength you prefer and add milk for a creamy balance with the sweetener of your choice.
Best Milk Chai Latte Recipe to Make At Home
Here’s how to make a chai latte perfectly from home!
- Real Chai Tea (Shop Fresh Chai at OneGreatCoffee.Com)
- Honey or Sugar
- Whole Milk
- Heat Milk - Get a saucepan and add the desired amount of milk needed for your chai drink. Place it on the stovetop at medium-high heat. Warm it till hot, but do not let it boil. The ideal temperature is between 165° F and 170° F. You can also steam your milk using a steamer on an espresso machine, or heat it in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds at a time, stirring and checking it regularly until it is very hot.
- Add Chai - Next, infuse the hot milk with chai tea. You can use tea bags or loose-leaf tea in a tea infusion “tea ball” or tea egg. Use the amount of tea needed for the desired chai flavor strength. Let the tea steep for at least 3 minutes until the milk changes to a rich brown color.
- Sweeten and Top with Cinnamon - Once your chai tea flavor has been infused into the hot milk, it's time to sweeten your drink. You can use honey, sugar, or vanilla simple syrup. Top your chai tea latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy!
Why Is Chai Good: Final Thoughts
With different blends of black tea with ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, and cloves, chai tea is a delicious, naturally sweet, nuanced tea, originating from India. Chai offers its drinkers a multitude of health and wellness benefits and may increase mental alertness. It can also be an amazing option if you have a cold, sore throat, upper respiratory issues, or the flu.
So, apart from producing an array of complex, sweetly spiced flavors in your cup, chai tea also has many health benefits and is easy to make! If you have been looking for a great selection of high-quality black teas, simply check out this vast selection of fresh, premium black, green, and chai teas sold online!