What is Chai?

Trista Laborn

For a while, I tried different types of chai, the store brand “Chai” concentrate liquid, the store tea bags and of course Starbucks chai tea lattes. Ever since trying out loose leaf chai, Which is black tea with different types of spices, It blew my mind.

What is Chai?

Chai from its origin comes from India and it means “Tea” in Hindi, or more accurately Masala chai tea, which is steeped with a spice blend. There are a thousand different ways of making “Masala tea” or “Chai”. It varies from across continents, cultures, different towns and families.

The Origin of “Chai”

From the “Beginning” Tea (Chai) was made with just steeping spices as a “Tea”. Then in the mid-1800s the British added milk, sugar and black tea to it for a stronger tasting tea. Thus began the popular “Chai Latte Drink” you may have heard of today.

Benefits of Chai

The benefits of chai come from the spices that are added. Typically the spices used in a chai blend is black pepper, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, fennel, and clove. All good for the digestive system.
All ingredients are said to help with the digestive system, gas, bloating and stimulate digestion in the stomach.
Ginger is said to have properties that help with nausea. Chai can help as an alternative to coffee because of the robust taste of the spices.
A lot of antioxidants in foods and in your environments help fight or slow damage to cells that cause oxidation stress that the body produces from sources such as Second-hand smoking, artificial foods, pesticides, drugs, etc. You can read more about it here.
Chai Also helps with anti-inflammatory conditions. Having a diet with foods that are high in anti-inflammatory is helpful for your health. You can read more here.

Chai Latte Recipe

“Dirty” Chai latte Recipe (Low Calorie)
Black tea 3-4 tea bags or 2tbsp loose tea.
1 cinnamon sticks
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
2-3 peppercorns
1-star anise
2cm piece ginger
250ml Milk
250ml Water
1 to 2 tsp of espresso
Stevia/Honey as per taste
Method Toast the spices in a dry frying pan until they are fragrant then pour the water in and bring to boil,
Once the water started to boil add ginger, black tea.
On a medium heat let it simmer for a few minutes and you will have a dark tea espresso ready.
At this stage add the espresso and milk.
Strain the tea and serve it with your favorite biscuits.
Original Recipe Here.

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