Last updated: August 16, 2021

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The term chai tea is known to most people. Traditionally, chai tea comes from India, where the word chai simply means "tea". Due to its good taste and partly positive effect on the human body, many variations have developed.

In the following article, we will explain which variants there are, what they do to your body and which ones suit you best. In addition, you will receive detailed buying advice that you can use in the supermarket or on the internet.




Summary

  • In India, chai means nothing more than "tea". So we actually always say "tea tea".
  • Depending on the mixture of spices, chai tea can have special effects on your body. Spices such as ginger and cardamom have a positive effect on your stomach and intestines.
  • Even though there are many varieties of chai tea available in supermarkets, some families in India keep their recipes like secrets at home.

The best Chai Tea: Our Picks

We have taken a look at the chai tea market for you and have picked out the best and most interesting products for you:

Buying and rating criteria for chai tea

You want to buy a chai tea but don't know what to look for. We have picked out and explained the most important and relevant buying criteria for chai teas so that you can be sure to choose the right product:

To give you more information about the buying criteria, we have explained them in more detail in the following section:

Tea format

The different tea formats are usually immediately noticeable when buying tea. The best-known format is the tea bag, where the tea leaves are finely chopped in a tea bag. You then put this bag into boiling water for 5-8 minutes, which allows the tea to infuse.

Another form is loose tea leaves. These are not supplied in tea bags, but are chopped into small pieces in a package. This assumes that you have a tea strainer at home where you can pour in the tea.

The advantage of loose tea leaves is that you can determine the amount of tea you want to use. If you need more than one portion, you can only choose between one or more bags.

With loose tea leaves, you can use a scale to measure exactly how much you actually want to use.

Quantity

As is often the case in industry and retail, you can differentiate between several quantities of a product. However, the quantity of tea is strongly dependent on the tea format.

Loose tea leaves are usually available in larger quantities, whereas the quantity for a tea bag is usually fixed. Here you can only decide on the quantity of tea bags you want to buy.

It often happens that the packaging in the supermarket indicates how many cups of tea you can drink with this product. Of course, you should not be 100% committed to this, but it will give you a good estimate of how much tea you are buying.

Flavour

Nowadays, tea comes in all kinds of flavours. From healthy teas that are good for the immune system to fruit teas and black teas. In addition, teas are often mixed together to create flavours such as apple-vanilla or pear-lemon.

Chai tea originally contained black tea, milk and spices. Since chai tea has become popular, it is now available in an enormous number of flavours.

However, black tea is still an essential ingredient that is rarely dispensed with. Flavour differences in chai teas are achieved by selecting different spices. Here, too, there is almost no direction that cannot be imagined.

Caffeine content

Chai tea originally comes from India. There, the tea was usually composed of black tea, milk and spices.

Thus, it is traditionally enriched with caffeine through the black tea, and has a very wakeful effect on people.

However, since not everyone tolerates caffeine well or wants to enjoy a chai tea before sleeping, there are now chai teas that are caffeine-free.

Of course, this is no longer the traditional type of tea, but it is also enjoyable for people who want to do without caffeine.

The distinction between caffeinated and decaffeinated is usually immediately recognisable on the packaging. If you cannot see anything about the caffeine content on the packaging, you should assume that the tea was made according to a traditional recipe and that it contains caffeine.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about chai tea answered in detail

Chai tea is known to many only as a name. However, important information is missing to understand what the Indian tea genre is all about.

We have collected the most important questions about chai tea for you and answered them in detail below:

Is chai tea healthy?

Traditional chai tea consists of black tea, milk and various spices. These main ingredients of chai tea are not unhealthy for the human body in moderation. However, the spices are where it gets interesting.

Many spices have hidden effects on the body that you may not have known about before.

A chai tea that uses the spice ginger has a positive effect on your digestion and has an antibacterial effect on your body. Other spices, such as cardamom, have a positive effect on colds and also calm the stomach.

Thus, it can be said that chai teas, with the right choice of spices, are healthy for the human body.

What varieties of chai tea are there?

The different types of chai tea differ in the choice of spices. If you like to consume cinnamon, it is a good idea to choose a chai tea that contains cinnamon.

Chai tea can be drunk with water or milk. (Image source: Massimo Rinaldi / Unsplash)

On the other hand, there are enough chai teas that taste very spicy and also hot. There are hardly any limits to the spices you can choose from when drinking chai tea. Traditionally, however, you drink the tea with peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom or ginger.

Do you drink Chai tea with milk or water?

Traditional chai tea contains both milk and water. First, black tea is brewed with water, then milk is added before the spices are added. Of course, you can also omit the milk if you don't tolerate it well.

Chai powders are often offered that are simply infused with water or milk. Of course, you can decide for yourself which ingredient you would like to use. However, always pay attention to the packaging of the product. Here you will often find information on how to consume the tea.

How do you prepare chai tea?

A main ingredient of Chai teas is a strong black tea. This is used to create a dominant basic flavour. Milk is also used to infuse the tea. Spices are then added to the mixture to give the tea its special flavour.

There are almost no limits to the choice of spices. Various spices such as cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, ginger or cloves are often used. If you don't like these, you can of course try other spices or spice blends.

Where does Chai tea originally come from?

Chai tea originally comes from India. There, the word chai means simply "tea" in many parts. In Germany, our word for the drink was simply added to the Indian word chai.

The traditional way to make Chai tea is to boil a strong black tea. Milk is then added and spices are added.

It is in the choice of spices that the different flavours that exist for chai tea differ. Different spices also have different effects on the human body and may well prove to be healthy.

Conclusion

Chai tea has a very old and long history. However, the tea is healthy and not particularly complicated to prepare. Meanwhile, there are many flavours that you can try first to find out which tea suits you best.

It is also interesting to note that depending on the choice of spices, your body will benefit from it. Each spice has a different effect on the body. Thus, a selected chai tea can help you with stomach or intestinal problems. Always keep in mind that it is best to try out which tea suits you and tastes best.

(Cover photo: Manki Kim / Unsplash)

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