For some people, especially those who live in western countries, chai tea is less popular than other types of tea like Earl Grey or chamomile.
Despite this, chai tea is actually as good as the famous tea brews. There are multiple chai tea benefits that you can get once you drink this unique-flavored tea.
A. Getting to Know Chai Tea
Getting to know chai tea properly would serve as a good starter. The following questions may come up when you hear about chai tea for the first time. So, go find out the answers at once!
· What is chai tea?
In some Asian countries, especially China and India, chai is simply defined as tea. However, as it is introduced worldwide, the definition of chai tea narrows into a more specific term.
Chai tea now refers to a type of blended tea combining tea leaves with special herbs and spices.
While using black tea leaves as the main ingredient, herbs and spices used in chai tea mainly include cinnamon, cloves, fresh ginger, fennel, cardamom, and black pepper.
· How does chai tea taste?
The mixture of tea leaves and different types of spices in chai tea creates a unique and delightful flavor.
In addition to the earthy flavor of black tea leaves, you can taste some spicy senses because of cloves, cinnamon, and other spices.
Alternatively, some variations of chai tea offer sweeter flavor with the addition of nut or dairy milk.
· Does chai tea have caffeine?
Yes, chai tea does have caffeine. In fact, because of its caffeine content, chai tea is often used as a replacement of coffee. The caffeine in chai tea, however, is less strong than coffee.
The tea approximately contains one third of caffeine amount in regular coffee. Despite this, the amount of caffeine in chai tea is enough to keep you awake and energized during the day.
· Is chai tea good for you?
Of course. Chai tea is loaded with beneficial nutrients that favor your health in general. The black tea leaves, for starters, are natural sources of antioxidants, such as catechins and polyphenolic.
The spices and herbs used in chai tea also come with their own benefits. Cinnamon can ward off colds and boost immunity, while ginger can aid better digestion.
B. Health Benefits of Chai Tea
Chai tea benefits for your health are plenty, from improving digestion to boosting your immune system. Here are some major health benefits that chai tea offers.
1. Lessens nauseous feeling
Drinking chai tea while pregnant will help to alleviate morning sickness or nauseous feeling. This is due to the biological contents of ginger, namely shogaol and gingerol, which have the ability to relieve stomach pain.
2. Aids better digestion
Chai tea is beneficial for your digestive system as it can aid better digestion while keeping your intestines at their optimal condition.
The presence of black pepper in chai tea mixture is also linked to the production of digestive enzymes that can dissolve fats and proteins more quickly.
3. Reduces aches and pains
Chai tea is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties, especially when it is blended with cloves and gingers.
As a natural anesthetic, the anti-inflammatory properties can reduce any pain or ache in arthritis or other illnesses.
4. Keeps your heart healthy
Drinking a cup of chai tea on a daily basis can favor the health of your heart. Some spices in chai tea, especially cinnamon, have the ability to regulate cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
As a result, the tea can prevent you from having a heart attack or several other heart diseases.
5. Boosting the immune system
Vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants contained in chai tea spices can improve your overall immunity.
In addition to warding off colds, those properties are helpful in fighting certain diseases caused by fungi and bacteria.
C. How to Make Chai Tea
To reap the health benefits from chai tea, the next thing you need to do is brewing the tea on your own.
In most groceries and food stores, chai tea is available in the form of tea bags and liquid tea base. Both forms make the brewing process more practical.
However, if you want to get more natural flavor, the best thing to do is go with loose tea leaves and add different herbs and spices as you like.
To get you started, you can follow the easy steps of this homemade chai tea recipe.
Note that the following recipe only serves as a rough guide. The combination of herbs and spices used in chai tea is not exactly controlled.
Therefore, you are free to add, eliminate, or replace the additional spices that will be mentioned in the recipe.
- Boil water to 212 F (100 C). You need to make sure that the water boils to the max as it can affect the flavor of your chai tea. Perfectly boiled water will make the tea taste stronger and emit more aromatic scent of the spices.
- While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the ingredients in a teapot. Firstly, add around 2 grams of black tea leaves. Then, you can add assorted herbs or spices, including cinnamon sticks, ginger, clovers, cardamom, peppercorns, and fennel. Choose any spice you prefer, but use around 1 teaspoon for each.
- Once the water has boiled, pour it to the teapot. Let the tea leaves and spices steep for at least five minutes. If needed, you can stir them to blend the flavor.
- Now, pour the tea into a teacup and start enjoying its exotic flavor while it is still warm. You can have chai tea for its original taste, or add some natural sweeteners—sugar, milk, or honey—to spice up the flavor.
- If you wish to have iced chai tea, let the liquid cool first before adding ice cubes to the teapot. Alternatively, you can also make a cup of chai tea latte by adding steamed milk and a little sugar.
D. Chai Tea Side Effects
Despite a large number of chai tea benefits, there are several side effects of chai tea that you should know. Most side effects are caused by the caffeine content.
For some people, drinking chai tea in large amount may lead to elevated blood pressure, constipation, and gastrointestinal distress. Excessive intake of chai tea may also increase anxiety and nervous disorders.
For this reason, you should keep the daily intake of chai tea at a balanced level. Drinking more than two cups per day is not recommended.
Although chai tea offers multiple health benefits that can keep you fit through the day, you still need to be aware of the side effects that may appear.
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