In India, drinking traditional chai tea is a core part of day-to-day life. From morning until night, citizens pause to sip the enchanting beverage on street corners, in cafes and restaurants, while at work and at play, and from the comforts of home. As more and more Americans are recently discovering, there is a reason for chai’s increasing popularity. Not only does it offer up intriguing flavors and captivating aromas, chai tea is also thought to benefit health and overall well-being.
A Crash Course in Chai Tea
If you are new to tea, or have simply not yet tried the exotic infusion that is chai tea, you are probably curious about what it is. Traditional chai tea is the blend of premium tea with the imperial spices of cinnamon, orange peel, ginger, cardamom seeds, star anise, cloves and black pepper. Chai tea may be prepared using black or green tea and even red rooibos tea. Traditionally, it is prepared by simmering chai tea with water, milk and honey resulting in a beverage that is rich in savory sweet flavor with a spicy finish.
The Benefits of Chai Tea
Like all tea, chai is thought to offer up many health benefits. For centuries, Eastern medicine has believed that chai tea may benefit the immune system.
Rich in Antioxidants: Since chai is prepared using different varieties of tea, the benefits it offers vary as well, but each variety, such as black tea, contains antioxidants that are thought to fight free radicals in the body. The ground spices used in chai also increase its health benefits and are thought to aid in digestion.
Healthy Honey: The addition of honey in chai preparation also adds to its benefits. Honey contains healthy antioxidants and flavonoids as well, and is often used to help soothe a sore throat. Chai Spice Honey for Tea combines Grade A white honey with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and clove, making each sip a truly decadent treat.
Cuts Caffeine: Perhaps the biggest benefit to chai tea is its use as a caffeine reducer or replacer for those looking for an alternative to coffee and other caffeinated beverages. The robust body and complex flavors of chai tea make it an excellent substitute for coffee. Republic Chai® Black Tea contains less than half the caffeine of a similar sized cup of coffee while Republic Chai® Green Tea contains less than a quarter the amount of caffeine in coffee. Both are a tasty choice whenever a gentle boost is needed. For a caffeine-free treat, Republic Chai® Red Tea blends South African rooibos red tea with traditional chai spices for a hearty, flavorful beverage without the harsh caffeine buzz coffee can bring.
Tranquil Tradition: Finally, steeping a hot cup of chai tea, relaxing while holding the warm tea cup in your hands, breathing in the spicy aromas, and sipping the sweet savory flavors is sure to benefit your overall sense of calm and well-being anytime you need to unwind.
There is no need to travel to India to experience all chai tea has to offer! There are numerous chai varieties and recipes featuring chai tea available for endless exciting possibilities. We encourage you to give chai a try! Its intriguing flavor and many benefits are sure to take you on a journey toward increased well-being and bring you peace of mind anytime you feel the need for an exotic escape.
Below is a handy tea-steeping chart to make clear the temperature of water needed and steeping times for each variety.