What Flavors Are In Chai Tea
Traditionally, the most important chai spices were cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and black peppercorns all of these ingredients were easily obtainable in India.There is also a possibility that certain classic recipes would call for vanilla, nutmeg, mace, star anise, or fennel.Bay leaf, allspice, cacao, and saffron were common additives to chai when it was exported to western countries.
Chai Tea Health Benefits
Not only is chai tea delicious, but it also has a slew of health benefits! If you are looking to de-bloat or become a little more regular in the loo, add a cup of chai tea to your daily routine!
Good for digestion- Chai tea spices are a combination of some amazing digestive spices that promote healthy bowels, people!
Cinnamon and ginger are said to calm the stomach while spices like cardamom and allspice have properties that help decrease bloating.
Reduced Caffeine- Yes, black tea does have caffeine, but it has half the amount of caffeine than a cup of black coffee.
If you are looking to cut back on your caffeine intake try black tea instead of coffee! Or? Make yourself a delicious chai tea latte, duh!
Antioxidant-rich Black tea is the base of most chai tea and black tea is antioxidant-rich, which support heart health!
Anti Inflammatory Ginger and cinnamon are two of the main ingredients in our DIY chai spices and both ginger and cinnamon are known for their anti-inflammatory properties!
Where Does Chai Tea Come From
The drink has a rich history and cultural significance in India, where chai literally means tea in Hindi-Urdu. Heres a fun tidbit for youfood facts trivia fans: When people say chai tea, theyre actually saying tea tea. While the people of India have a history of drinking tea, particularly as Ayurvedic medicine, the beverage didnt always include spices, sweetener, and milk. It wasnt until British colonizationand later, a 20th-century marketing push to get Indians to drink more teathat chai began to take the form we know and love today. These days, your favorite spicy-sweet sip is the same beverage many people in India prepare, a concoction more accurately known as masala chai, or mixed spice tea. Blend it at home to create the perfect gift for tea lovers or a pick-me-up for mornings when you need some extra pep in your step.
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Homemade Masala Chai Spice Mix
This homemade masala chai spice mix is made with 7 deliciously, warming spices like cardamom and cinnamon and is the perfect spice for a quick and easy chai tea latte! It can just as easily be made into a dirty chai as well, for that extra caffeine kick.
This post is sponsored by our friends at NOIIA! All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Ginger with Spice possible.
How We Tested Different Types Of Chai
For this test, our team got their kettles boiling . Each tea was steeped according to package directions and then sipped blindly. Blind tasting is a major part of our testing process. We dont want to be swayed by pretty packaging or big names.
During the test, our pros kept these criteria in mind.
- Balance: Chai, as we noted, is made up of black tea and an array of spices. In a good chai, no one spice should overpower. Sure, one brand may be more ginger-forward or tea-centric, but overall the flavors should work together in harmony.
- Flavor: Remember, the most important quality to our Test Kitchen is always flavor. Our team searched for a tea that tasted delicious and made them want to cozy up with a good book before getting into the kitchen to test reader recipes.
While our experts sampled nine different types of chai, five rose to the top of our rankings and earned the right to be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.
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Potential Health Benefits Of Chai Tea
Depending on which spices are used and how itâs brewed, chai tea can provide a variety of noteworthy health benefits. It’s often low in calories, making it a healthy substitute for sugary beverages such as hot cocoa or apple cider.
Other potential benefits include:
Lower blood pressure. The cinnamon in chai tea may prevent hypertension, especially in people with diabetes. Research also indicates that people who drink several cups of black tea every day lower their blood pressure by several points.
Better brain power. The black tea and spices found in chai can provide significant benefits to both short-term and long-term cognitive function. Research reveals that the mere smell of cinnamon can improve both attention and memory. Black tea contains caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, both of which are linked to improved focus.
Lower blood sugar. Black tea helps to regulate glucose levels and may prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar. It is especially valuable for controlling glucose levels after drinking sugary beverages.
Chai Tea May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Chai tea may contribute to better blood sugar control.
Thats because it contains ginger and cinnamon, both of which may have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels.
For instance, studies show that cinnamon may reduce insulin resistance and fasting blood sugar levels by 1029% .
Lower insulin resistance makes it easier for your body to use insulin to escort sugar out of your blood and into your cells. This can help lower blood sugar levels.
A recent study gave two grams of ginger powder per day to people with type 2 diabetes, and found it helped lower their blood sugar levels by up to 12% .
Studies report that effective ginger and cinnamon doses tend to range from 16 grams per day. Such doses are more than what you can expect to get from store-bought chai tea bags, or a cup prepared by your local barista.
To get the most benefits, try preparing the tea yourself from scratch. That way, you can add slightly more cinnamon and ginger than most recipes call for.
Its also important to note that, unlike home-brewed chai tea, varieties prepared in cafés are often heavily sweetened, which would likely negate the blood-sugar-lowering benefits of the other ingredients in chai tea.
In fact, a 12-ounce nonfat milk chai latte at Starbucks contains over 35 grams of sugar, and about two-thirds of that comes from added sugar .
For the best blood-sugar-lowering results, opt for an unsweetened version.
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What Spices Are Used In Masala Chai
Chai Wallahs- the street vendors who make masala chai, all have their own unique blend of chai spices as well- and as you can probably guess, I was obsessed with watching them make their creations.
These are the chai spices I saw used the most in India:
I especially love the green cardamom pods I picked up in India. So here is a starting point for you but feel free to improvise and fine-tune to your own taste.
How To Serve Masala Chai
Yes, it is very typical to serve chai in a glass in India, leaving some room at the top to hold the glass. But a cozy mug is perfect too.
And there you have it, Masala Chai as they make it in India.
A delicious morning beverage or afternoon pick-me-up. I also love this in the evenings with decaf black tea.
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Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai Tea
For a supremely balanced cup of chai, steep yourself a cup of Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai Tea.
With this cup, you get the spices, which one wants in a chai tea, says Sarah Farmer, head of the Test Kitchen, but its not such a kick.
This doesnt mean that this tea doesnt have spice, though. In fact, you get a really pleasant blend of ginger, vanilla and clove, but its all well balanced with plenty of black tea for a flavorful, smooth brew to start your morning.
Easy Homemade Chai Tea Mix
* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.
Ill be honest Im not a tea drinker. In fact, I could probably go the rest of my life without drinking another cup of tea and Id be alright. But take away my coffee and Id have a hard time even getting through the day!
That being said, I do drink tea from time to time, but Im pretty selective about what kind of tea I drink. It has to have the same bold flavours that a good espresso has, and for that reason pretty much the only tea I really enjoy drinking is chai tea.
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What You’ll Need For This Recipe
Authentic chai is deeply aromatic from a complementary combination of spices that are earthy, warm, sweet, and a bit spicy. With a traditional masala chai blend, ginger and cardamom are dominant flavor notes, with some combination of peppercorn, cinnamon, nutmeg, start anise, and fennel also often incorporated. Westerners usually add allspice and a lot more cinnamon to the mix. My blend incorporates the elements of an authentic masala chai recipe with lots of ginger and cardamom plus a handful of other spices, including allspice. So, what spices are in chai latte mix?
This will likely be a spicier chai than you would get from, say, a Starbucks type coffee shop. If you want to make your chai spice blend sweeter, lean into the cinnamon and nutmeg. And dial back the ginger, clove, black pepper, and allspice a bit, if you don’t want it to be as spicy. As far as tools, I recommend a mason jar or other clear, seal-able container to store your tea blend in and a long-handled spoon like a bar spoon for mixing everything up easily and with no mess. And that’s it!
How To Make A Latte With This Spiced Tea Blend
A latte combines steamed milk with espresso and sometimes sweetener. I’m tapping into my barista experience to give you a rundown on how coffee shops make chai lattes in three simple steps below with a video for my fellow visual folks!
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What Are The Chai Spices
This chai spice mix is on the spicier side. We like our chai with a bite rather than a sweet spice mix so we added a little extra ground ginger. If you love yourself a sweet chai, try taking out some ginger and adding more cinnamon or even a teaspoon of coconut sugar or brown sugar. Have no shame either way. The taste buds want, what the taste buds want. DO YOU FEEL ME?
We love mixing up our own chai spices so that we have chai spice ready in the pantry whenever were craving a chai tea latte or one of our favorite Fit Foodie Finds chai recipes. Yes, we have a bunch! Check them out.
Tips For Making And Storing The Best Chai Spice Blend
- Check your spices to make sure they aren’t old. Spices do have a shelf life. Fresh spices will give you the best tasting blend.
- Taste and adjust to suit your personal preference!
- This recipe for chai spice mix makes enough to fill a normal sized spice jar about halfway full, so make more or less depending on your jar.
- Most glass spice jars can be put in the dishwasher so it makes it easy to recycle them and use them for your own blends. Just make sure you label your jars!
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It May Help Improve Heart Health
Theres evidence that chai tea may be good for the health of your heart.
Animal studies have shown that cinnamon, one of the main ingredients in chai tea, may lower blood pressure .
In some individuals, cinnamon has been shown to help reduce the levels of total cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides by up to 30% .
Most studies used doses of 16 grams of cinnamon per day, which is generally more than youd find in your typical cup of chai tea.
However, a recent review reported that doses of as little as 120 mg per day may be sufficient to offer these heart-healthy effects .
Several studies also suggest that the black tea used to make chai tea may contribute to lower blood cholesterol levels .
Most research has observed that drinking four or more cups of black tea per day may slightly reduce blood pressure levels. Whats more, drinking three or more cups of black tea per day seems to be linked to an 11% lower risk of heart disease .
However, not all studies are unanimous, and none have investigated the direct effect of chai tea on heart health. Thus, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made .
Summary: Chai tea contains cinnamon and black tea, both of which may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, studies that directly investigate the effects of chai tea are needed.
What Makes Chai Tea
Tea, specifically black tea, is the base ingredient for chai, which consists of black tea brewed in milk and flavored with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise, and then either sugar or honey is added for sweetness.My favorite find in Hong Kong was this amazing chai I couldnt wait to stay another night at the Mansion just so I could have some more tea in the morning.This chai was the finest thing I had in Hong Kong.
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Chai Tea Latte At Home
There is truly nothing better than a warm and spicy chai tea latte. Weve been ordering them at local coffee shops with almond milk or oat milk and they are just so yummy.
Since chai tea lattes are made with black tea, this morning drink does contain a bit of caffeine. But, in this post, well teach you how to add even more caffeine to get that morning jolt you know and love.
The Essential Spice: Green Cardamom
When we talk about chai-flavored anything, in my opinion the dominant flavor were really talking about is green cardamom. Intensely fragrant, with sharp vegetal notes of green spice and pepper, green cardamom pods are harvested earlier than black cardamom, which is muskier and more smoky.
Green cardamom is the base of most chai recipes that I am aware of. I like to buy green cardamom from the bulk bins at my local health food store, and I very lightly crack the pods before steeping them in the tea.
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Ultimate Homemade Chai Tea Latte Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This homemade chai tea latte recipe is internet famous and loved by thousands of readers. And its way better than a Starbucks chai tea latte. Made with simple pantry ingredients: black tea, warming spices, and milk. This from-scratch recipe is a tea lovers favorite: rich and warming chai flavor with the perfect touch of natural sweetness. The perfect balance that makes this tea a must-make.
Spice Up Your Day With Chai Tea
This exquisitely spicy yet creamy beverage can be consumed either hot or cold, making it a great recipe for year-round consumption. The blend of peppery and piquant spices make enjoying this cuppa tea a diversion from the classic sharp or floral flavors of teas such as green tea and jasmine tea.
With health benefits including increased immune system strength, alleviation of aches and pains and increased focus and attention, masala chai helps you stay healthy without sacrificing taste. Savor the flavors and breathe in the zesty aroma of masala chai while drinking to your health.
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Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon and ginger are a force to be reckoned with when you get them together. Part of their powerful healing properties include their ability to stabilize blood sugar levels. Ginger was found to help lower blood sugar for those suffering with type 2 diabetes and cinnamon helped to lower blood glucose in those who were dealing with insulin resistance.
What Type Of Black Tea To Use For Chai
I suggest using strong Pakistani/Indian black tea bags which are often made with Assam or Darjeeling tea leaves using the CTC method. Tapal, Wagh Bakri, Ahmad Tea, and Tetley are some of the brands commonly found in South Asian grocery stores. If using weaker tea or whole leaf Darjeeling or Assam, add more as needed .
I developed this recipe with tea bags. If you prefer to use tea leaves, you certainly can. But depending on the brand, it may increase the strength of the tea and therefore make the spices more muted. Adjust by reducing tea and/or grinding the spices.
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Other Uses For Chai Masala
Chai spice doesn’t have to be for a cup of masala chai! It’s also super popular for fall baking. It can be added to cookies, used in cinnamon rolls, mixed in with buttercream, etc. It’s a delicious addition to just about anything for a warmth, flavor, and fragrance.
It can also be used for savory cooking as well. It is, after all, a spice blend.
Chai masala spice blend will last in an airtight container for up to two years.