If you have just recently started drinking tea and trying out different types of it, you have probably got a little bit overwhelmed by the numerous options you have. Therefore, you have probably come across the name “chai”, but you are not sure what kind of tea is in question, and whether or not you should go for it. So, what does chai taste like, and is it a good beverage for you?
Chai tastes quite sweet and creamy and has an earthy flavor. It is a combination of milk, sugar, and tea leaves. What makes chai different from other types of tea is obviously the addition of milk, but spices also play an important role. You can add ginger, cinnamon, or even black pepper to spice up your warm drink.
Chai has raised many dilemmas among tea lovers since they are not always really sure what chai is all about. I have written this article to explain the taste and the properties of chai, and whether or not it is beneficial to be included in a list of beverages you drink daily. You may be surprised by the facts you will read about chai, and if you have never tried it before, you will likely be tempted now.
Does Chai Taste Good?
For those to whom chai is still a new notion, it is important to mention that it is considered a fusion of tea leaves, milk, and sugar. Unlike other types of tea, chai requires the addition of milk in its content. What is more, spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, are mandatory, so you would get the unique taste of this beverage.
So, if you consider the ingredients included, you probably can assume the taste of chai. So, it is a sweet and warm beverage – something that you really want to drink on chilly days, when all you want to do is stay home. Therefore, chai is characterized by sweetness, meaning that many people consider its taste amazing.
Is Chai Supposed to Be Sweet?
Sugar is one of the main ingredients of chai, so this warm beverage aims to bring sweetness to the taste. Usually, if you go to a place that serves chai, you would always get the sweet type. This means that you want to drink something sweet but not so heavily coated with different types of sugars, then you would go for some chai.
However, some people tend to avoid the addition of sugar in chai because they want to opt for the healthier option of this drink. This is usually done when chai is prepared at home since you can mostly experiment with your food and drinks. However, even if you exclude sugar from your beverage, chai would still have some sweet notes due to milk and spices, such as cinnamon.
What Are the Ingredients in Real Chai?
Today, there are different variations of chai, meaning that there are a lot of different ingredients included in these variations. However, if you are new to chai, you need to know the basic ingredients that are considered traditional for this type of tea. If you really want to discover whether you like or dislike chai, you first need to try the traditional version of the tea.
Therefore, in traditional chai, the base ingredient is black tea, i.e., leaves of black tea. It is known that black tea contains caffeine, meaning that chai is a quite strong beverage. However, although black tea can be strong and bitter, its bitterness is decreased by adding milk and sugar. In addition to these main ingredients, spices are commonly added.
When it comes to spices, the regular ones that are included in traditional chai are cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Due to spices, chai becomes a unique drink with a specific taste that cannot be found in other beverages. Traditional chai is a symbol of the perfect fusion of ingredients, which is why this beverage is so popular nowadays.
Does Real Chai Contain Caffeine?
Real chai contains caffeine since it is usually based on black tea. Also, if the base is green tea, chai would still have caffeine included in its content. This is because black and green tea are the main sources of caffeine when it comes to different types of tea, and that is why people usually choose them instead of coffee.
Opting for tea instead of coffee is usually considered the healthier option, especially in the morning. That is why it is sometimes recommended that you opt for chai instead of a cup of coffee. Chai indeed contains sugar and milk as well, but so does coffee.
What Is Chai Similar to?
Considering the ingredients included in chai, we can sort out many types of tea that are similar to this type of tea. The things that make these types of tea similar to chai are the use of spices and black or green tea as a base. Therefore, the variations listed below can be a good substitute when you want something spicy and close to chai.
Ginger can be included in many blend tea types, and it usually works well with spices. Therefore, ginger can be perfectly combined with black or green tea as a base, and spices, such as cinnamon. Ginger is the ingredient that gives the warm and sweet flavor of the beverage.
Cinnamon tea is usually used to spice up black tea. However, it is known to be well combined with some green tea, oolong, or Puerh tea as well. Cinnamon is a great spice for hot beverages like tea since it gives a warm and sweet flavor.
However, these types of tea do not have recipes that call for the addition of milk. But, you are always welcome to experiment with the ingredients you put in your hot drink and use whatever you believe will taste good when combined.
What Is Chai Good For?
Although it consists of many ingredients, chai is still tea, and we all know that tea is considered the healthiest hot beverage you can have at all times. Therefore, it can be said that chai can be quite beneficial for the improvement of health.  In fact, there are several reasons why you should seriously consider including this drink in your daily diet.
It Can Improve the Health of the Heart
When something is really healthy, its beneficial properties are usually aimed towards the heart, the most sensitive human organ in the body. Due to the ingredients found in chai, this hot beverage is considered beneficial for lowering blood pressure. To be more precise, cinnamon is the ingredient that helps in reducing the levels of cholesterol.
In addition, if you drink three or four cups of chai, you are improving your chances of getting lower blood cholesterol levels. Also, drinking three to six cups of chai a day can reduce the risks of getting some kind of heart disease. However, you should know that all these studies have been done by testing animals, so it cannot be said they are direct, although people who drink chai daily have shown improvement in health and the immune system.
It Can Improve Digestion and Reduce Nausea
Since chai contains ginger, it is perfectly obvious that this type of tea would positively affect the stomach. Ginger is a well-known ingredient for calming the stomach and reducing nausea. Therefore, chai can really help with pregnancy nausea, and that is why it is commonly recommended to pregnant women.
Along with ginger, chai contains spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, perfect for preventing bacteria from entering the human body. These spices are actually well-known antibacterial factors that play a significant role in the digestive system. This means that people who drink chai have lower chances of getting bacterial infections, especially those who have weak immune systems.
It Can Be Beneficial in Losing Weight
When you think about losing weight, drinks also play a significant role. Therefore, you should not fail in considering them. So, chai can be one of the options you have on the table since its ingredients are quite helpful with weight loss.
Firstly, a huge factor is the milk used in it since it is an amazing source of protein. Usually, the milk used in chai is whole or soy, which are known to fulfill appetite and reduce hunger. Also, it is important to note that chai is very good in preventing overeating later, which is an important factor in losing weight.
What is more, research has shown that chai can break down the calories you intake. This means that you will burn calories even if you are not active at that particular moment.
How Does Chai Make You Feel?
Lastly, it is very important to mention that chai prevents you from feeling bloated. This is the best property that this type of tea offers since many people are struggling with bloating at all times.
Also, chai can make you quite energized, in a similar way to coffee, so you will enjoy all of the features that come with this warm and sweet beverage.
How Does Chai Taste Without Milk?
Some people choose to avoid putting milk in tea; therefore, they avoid including it in chai as well, even though traditional chai recipe always calls for milk. This is a possible way of making chai. However, the taste is quite different from the original one.
Firstly, the tea flavors are not as accented as with milk, meaning that the taste of chai becomes weak and bitter. Also, the flavors are not so much felt as in a traditional chai beverage.
Lastly, your chai may taste really watery, so it will not be even the real taste of tea, so you might want to always include milk to avoid the bland taste.
How to Make Chai?
Since there are many variations of chai, there are also many different methods and ways in which you can make it. However, I have decided to explain the one that is considered the simplest and the most common of all. Firstly, make sure that you have all of the ingredients before you start your process.
Therefore, you will need black or green tea as a base, whole milk or soy milk, sugar, and spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. You may opt for some additional flavors as well, but that is your own personal preference. Once you obtain the ingredients, you may begin by following the procedure I have explained below.
- In a saucepan, put one part of milk and water together and place it on the stove. Bring the mixture to a boiling point.
- Reduce the heat, and then add some tea leaves. Give the tea some time to set, and stir the mixture if you believe it is necessary. Add spices that you want in your tea, you can put as many as you want since this is your own taste in question here.
- Check the sweetness of the mixture, and add sugar or honey according to your recipe or as you think it is needed.
- Put the mixture in a cup or mug, and add more sugar if you think it is needed.
In conclusion, you can clearly see that chai is a type of tea characterized by significantly sweet and spicy flavors. It can be a delicious drink during cold days and a beneficial one since it contains a lot of beneficial properties. If you have never tried chai before, do not wait anymore since this is a type of tea you should not miss out on.