Overview of Chai
Chai is a popular Indian tea that is made with black tea, milk, spices and sweetener. The term “chai” is actually the shortened version of the word “masala chai” which translates to “spiced tea” in Hindi. Spices used in chai tea can vary from one region to the next but typically consist of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger and peppercorns.
Chai tea is thought to have been created 5,000 years ago as an herbal remedy in the practice of Ayruvedic alternative medicine. Originally made with just spices and no tea leaves, Indian chai tea was used to stimulate digestion, relieve pain and improve circulation.
When the British colonized India in the 1800s, they began to cultivate the Camellia sinensis tree locally to produce black tea. It was the British who added black tea leaves, milk and sugar to the traditional chai, which is how it is popularly consumed worldwide today.
Due to the health benefits and distinct taste, chai tea has seen an increase in popularity over the past several years. In addition to traditional black tea chai, you can now find different versions of chai, including green tea chai, and rooibos chai. Chai tea can also be found in full-leaf, tea bags or as a chai concentrate.
Caffeine Content of Chai
Chai is created with black tea which has less than half the amount of caffeine per cup of a similarly sized cup of coffee. On average, a six-ounce cup of black tea has about 50 milligrams of caffeine, which is less than half the amount in a cup of brewed coffee.
The health benefits of chai tea are dependent on the type of tea and spices that are used. If you look at traditional black tea chai, which usually contains cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger and black pepper; these ingredients have been known to fight inflammation, support digestion, help balance blood sugar and improve cardiovascular health.*
How to Steep
Steeping is easy. Simply heat fresh, filtered water to a rolling boil, then pour the water over the tea and steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea bag or infuser and enjoy Sip by Sip.
To make a chai tea latte, blend the steeped tea with warm milk or milk alternative and sweetener of choice (such as honey or agave) and sprinkle with cinnamon on top.
Chai tea can be used to impart a delightful and distinct spiced flavor to a variety of recipes including smoothies, cookies, oatmeal, ice cream and poached fruit. Typically, masala chai is first steeped into a strong brew, which is then incorporated into various recipes.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.