Chai is steeped in a rich history. The name “chai” is actually the Hindi word for “tea”, which was derived from “cha”, the Chinese word for “tea”. In this case, the Hindi term chai means a set of spices steeped into a tea-like beverage. Recipes for chai vary across continents, cultures, towns and families. But the traditional ingredients of a spiced tea blend usually include đen tea mixed with strong spices, lượt thích cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and black peppercorns. The spiced tea mixture is typically brewed strong with milk và sweetened with sugar or honey. However, the milky sweet tea treat we order in coffee và tea shops today has very little in common with the origins of Indian chai.

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Chai origins

Legend has it that the origin of chai dates back more than 5,000 years, when a king in what is now India ordered a healing spiced beverage be created for use in Ayurveda, a traditional medicinal practice in which herbs and spices are used for healing. The heat from ginger & black pepper was believed khổng lồ stimulate digestion; the antiseptic properties in cloves were thought to lớn help relieve pain; cardamom was used as a mood elevator; cinnamon supported circulation và respiratory function; và star anise was known to freshen the breath.

As the healing beverage spread across India a wide variety of spices were used to prepare the drink, depending on the region of the continent or even the neighborhood where the beverage was being made.

Believe it or not, original versions of “masala chai”, or “spiced tea”, contained no actual Camellia sinensis tea leaves. Milk & sugar were also later additions to lớn the famous drink. The addition of black tea leaves, milk và sugar were popularized thousands of years later (in the mid-1800s) when the Camellia sinensis assamica tea plant variety was discovered in India & cultivated by the British, who ruled continent at the time và had an insatiable desire for strong đen tea with milk và sugar.

Components of chai

Since traditional chai beverages can vary from town-to-town và family-to-family, there is no one recipe that defines chai. But the beverage typically consists of these ingredient categories:

Tea: The Assam & Darjeeling đen teas native to India are most popular to lớn use as a chai base. But you’ll also find chai made with various types of green teas, the South American herb yerba mate or the South African herb red rooibos. You may also find completely herbal blends made only from spices and containing no tea leaves.

Sweetener: trắng sugar, brown sugar & honey are typical chai sweeteners, but other sugars, like demerara, turbinado or coconut, may also be used. Jaggery, an unrefined cane sugar, is a popular sweetener used in parts of India.

Milk: Indian chai is often made with buffalo milk. But the more Western version that we are used to lớn is typically made with cow’s milk or dairy alternatives, lượt thích soy, almond, rice & coconut milks. You may also find yak or goat milk in other chai beverages around the world. Some recipes will have you steep a strong chai in water và then dilute it with milk. Other recipes have you simmer the chai spices in a mixture of water và milk or in all milk.

Spices: The spices, or “masala”, used in chai will vary by region, climate & cultural preference. Traditionally, cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and black peppercorns were dominant chai spices và all readily available in India. Vanilla, nutmeg, mace, star anise or fennel may also be seen in some traditional recipes. As chai moved west, bay leaf, allspice, cacao or saffron became popular additions. Coriander và cumin may also show up in some recipes.

The huge variation of chai recipes means the beverage can take on many different flavor directions depending on the ingredients used. Chai that’s heavy on the ginger và black peppercorns can leave a fire-y bite. Others containing more vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg may leave behind a sweeter note. Those with saffron or cacao may impart some earthy bitterness. And those using fennel or cumin may have a more savory note.

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As a nod to®’s tea garden origins on the subcontinent of India, our Chai Tea was created with the more classic, original Indian chai flavors in mind. With a blend of black tea, ginger, cloves, cardamom & cinnamon, our chai is a beautiful balance of smooth và spicy. The bold spiciness of ginger and strong sweetness of clove shine through, but the spices don’t overshadow our full-bodied đen tea leaves. Our chai is just as lovely steeped in water alone as it is with the addition of your favorite milk or sugar.



Caffeine nội dung in chai Chai Tea contains black tea & so is similar in caffeine content to black Tea, which contains about half the caffeine than a cup of coffee. Ultimately, though, the caffeine content in any chai will vary depending on the amount of Camellia sinensis tea leaves the blend contains, where that tea plant was cultivated and how it was processed, and the way the chai was ultimately brewed for your cup.

Preparing chai

Since chai blends may contain different tea bases & different teas can have varying ideal brewing temperatures and steeping times, always ask your tea vendor for specific brewing instructions for the chai you purchased. Here are some general chai brewing tips khổng lồ keep in mind:

Chai can be steeped in water alone, a mixture of water và milk, or in milk alone, depending on your preference. (You never want khổng lồ truly boil milk, though, or you could scald or burn it, leaving an off flavor.)
If your chai came with specific recommendations for brewing, use those. But using about 2 grams of loose leaf chai blend per 8 oz. Cup of water/milk is a safe bet.
Always start with fresh, pure, cold filtered water when brewing tea. Spring water is the best. Và cover your tea while it steeps to keep all the heat in the steeping vessel.
Here is one classic chai steeping method: Steep your chai blend in one quarter lớn one half boiled water for up lớn 5 minutes (for chai with đen or green tea leaves) or up to 15 minutes (for an herbal chai). Meanwhile, heat desired amount of milk to just barely a boil. Stir hot milk & desired sweetener into the water-steeped chai mixture. Strain và enjoy.
Just as with straight đen tea or green teas, you don’t want lớn oversteep a chai blend that contain tea or it may release some bitterness & astringency from the tea leaves. Taste your chai after the recommended steeping time & then decide if you’d like it lớn steep a little longer.
If your chai contains black tea, it can be brewed a bit longer & in slightly hotter water temperatures than chai that contains green tea. Generally, this is somewhere between 200 và 212 degrees for 3 lớn 5 minutes. If your chai has a green tea base, it should be steeped at a lower temperature, somewhere around 170 khổng lồ 190 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes. (If you don’t have an electric kettle with temperature control, just remember that at sea màn chơi water simmers at 190 degrees và boils at 212 degrees. The boiling temperature drops about a degree for every 1,000 feet in altitude increase.)

Buying & storing chai

A chai blend, just lượt thích any other tea blend, won’t really go “bad”, but it can get stale. Lớn ensure you’re getting the freshest chai, buy it from a reputable company that can tell you when and how the chai was processed & packaged. Chai tea blends can stay fresh for up khổng lồ a year with these storage tips in mind:

Always store tea in a cool, dark place.Keep your tea away from heat, light, oxygen & moisture, và never store tea in the refrigerator.Tea will last longer if stored in an opaque, airtight container.Don’t let tea chia sẻ the pantry with items like coffee and spices that can leach their flavor into the tea leaves.

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For more information about how to best care for your tea, visit our How to Store Tea page. Learn more about how tea is made. Learn more about our single garden direct organic tea.