Chai tea is a rich and spicy tea which originates from India. It’s primary ingredients are mainly black tea as well as several other herbs and spices. It derives its name from its Indian origin and the word chai stands for “spicy” in traditional Hindi, a language spoken in that sub-region of the world.
Chai tea has been a popular drink in within the Asian subcontinent for many centuries but now, with the advent of globalization and integration of cultures, it has spread to other parts of the world.
As a matter of fact, it has become so popular that it is now sold pre-packaged in form of tea bags, concentrated syrups and powders in major stores and retail outlets in the Western world.
Traditionally, chai tea is served hot but tea lovers have devised several means of modifying the chai recipe to suit their personal tastes.
Chai tea can now be savored in several different forms and flavors. For instance, it can now be served as iced chai tea, cinnamon chai tea or even as a latte drink.
Making homemade chai tea is a hobby of many tea lovers and there are scores of chai recipes that have been passed around for centuries. Some recipes have even become family secrets.
With regards to the actual components of the chai recipes, there is nothing set in stone. Some of the ingredients can be substituted at will and replaced with other preferred spices based on personal preference. However, black tea, its core ingredient can not be replaced.
Black tea contains some caffeine which is a known stimulant also found in coffee. However, the caffeine content in chai is about 30% of that found in coffee which makes chai a much healthier choice over coffee. This is one of the major health benefits of chai tea.
The health benefits of chai are innumerable and they have been well-documented over the years. The reason for this is not far-fetched due to the obvious fact that most of the ingredients are herbs and roots that were used in ancient China for the treatment of many disease conditions.
These ingredients (black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg etc) impart several health benefits on tea drinkers. It is known to have a calming and soothing effect on the human digestive system.
Its cinnamon content helps to ease fatigue and it’s also a potent aphrodisiac. The cloves have analgesic and antibacterial properties.
Chai has antioxidant attributes and cancer research studies have proved that it equally fights against the formation of cancerous cells in the body.