The name “Chai” is actually a Hindi word for “tea.” Chai is unlike most teas that we are familiar with today, though. It’s a mix of black tea and other antioxidant-rich spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black pepper, but recipes vary from region to region. It is typically brewed with milk and sweetened with honey or sugar.
It has been consumed for over 5,000 years since it was first formulated for use in Ayurveda, an alternative medicine practice in which natural remedies are used to support mental and physical well-being. Ginger and black pepper were used to stimulate digestion, cloves were thought to relieve pain, cardamom was used to boost mood, and cinnamon for heart health. Recipes evolved from region to region based on the healing properties that they were looking for.
What are the Health Benefits of Chai?
Rich in Antioxidants
- It’s a great source of antioxidants which are helpful for reducing “free radicals” in the body and supporting cellular health. Antioxidants have even been shown to help prevent degenerative diseases and some types of cancer.
Boosts Heart Health
- Black tea contains molecules known as “flavonoids, " a unique compound that can help prevent the build-up of plaque in your arteries and reduce stress on the heart. Cinnamon has also proven helpful for treating cardiovascular diseases and lowering bad cholesterol.
- Black tea, ginger, and black pepper have been shown to improve digestion and be an aid for stomach troubles. Ginger, in particular, has been shown to help reduce gastrointestinal symptoms and help your digestive system work properly.
Supports Skin Health
- Black tea is high in vitamins and minerals that have been shown to help protect and rejuvenate skin health, including zinc, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.
How is Chai Made?
Since chai recipes vary from region to region and preference to preference, there is no single recipe that defines what chai is. However, more often than not, Chai typically consists of black tea, milk, sweetener, and a blend of spices.
To make chai, add all of the dry ingredients, sweetener, and milk into a saucepan and simmer for 10-15 minutes, and then strain the ingredients through a strainer and serve warm.
What Does Chai Taste Like?
Depending on the recipe, chai can take on very different taste profiles. Some recipes call for turmeric, making it more earthy in taste, while others call for ginger, making them sweet and spicy.
Blossom’s instant superfood chai latte was made with a more balanced, sweet, spicy flavor profile, consisting of black tea, ginger, gloves cardamom, cinnamon and allspice, monk fruit as the sweetener, and oat milk powder as the plant-based milk base. It contains a similar amount of caffeine to a cup of coffee, but the caffeine is derived from guarana, black tea and green tea, so it’s a slower-relasing, longer-lasting caffeine buzz, and is infused with l-theanine to boost focus, and GABA (PharmaGABA) to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. And it’s so easy to make, just add two scoops to a cup, add 8oz water, mix and sip.