For thousands of years, popularity in Chai tea has been unwavering across Southeast Asia with its consumption embedded into the cultures of many societies. Its delightfully rich aroma and flavour have since reached out across the world with households and cafes from India to America now indulging themselves in this ancient, charming brew. Such is this rapidly growing phenomenon that many industry analysts are predicting that chai will eventually become as popular and common as coffee lattes and cappuccinos despite having far less caffeine. In fact, you would have to drink three cups of chai tea to achieve the same amount of caffeine you get in a single cup of coffee. Essentially, this means that if you are looking to reduce your caffeine intake, switching to chai would benefit you dramatically! But if, like many, you wish to simply pamper your palate with this world-renowned tea, then here are just some of the elements that make up its fascinating story…
History of Chai Tea
In the language of Hindi, Masala Chai literally means “mixed-spice tea,” with the word Chai in particular simply meaning “tea.” In most western countries, the name “chai tea” has predominantly been adopted for the beverage even though this essentially means the Hindi translation is “tea, tea”! Despite this odd development, Chai tea’s history dates back long before Western settlers stepped foot on India’s soil.
Like many ancient recipes, Chai Tea's history is steeped in conjecture with no definitive answer to its origin. Some legends say that it was created 9000 years ago, while others say it was 5000 years ago. Regardless of an exact date, it is said that a king created it as a cleansing, vivifying Ayurvedic beverage. Whether you choose to believe this theory or not, many recipes for Masala Chai can been traced back to ancient Ayurvedic medical texts, using ingredients such as; green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, black peppercorns, star anise, fennel seeds, nutmeg and Black Assam tea. This particular blend is widely considered one of the most traditional and common variants of the brew although the spices used can vary from region to region and even from household to household throughout the whole of India.
Chai Tea Health Benefits
Even with the countless number of recipes, almost all the properties found within each variant have been proven to have great health benefits to this day. For example, the traditionally used ingredient of black pepper is known to support the pancreas in secreting digestive enzymes, which in turn, speeds the time it takes the body to digest heavy foods like fat and protein. Ginger is also renowned as a digestive herb that can curb nausea and support healthy digestion. Even the black tea itself is full of antioxidants which are thought to help prevent
cardiovascular disease and other such illnesses.
In a world of thousands of different Chai tea recipes, it would be difficult to come by a variant that didn’t benefit you in some form or another. Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we aim to bring you a wide range of different Chai blends, along with their respected health benefits, to enjoy as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, or simply to spoil yourself with while you sit on the sofa watching your favourite television show. Another such example is that of our very own Spicy Turmeric Chai Tea. The uses of Turmeric has the ability to add more depth to the health benefits of the Chai Tea whilst also adding a unique and different type of spice to the blend. This wholesome addition has been used in ancient India for centuries with its powerful anti-inflammatory properties owing to the Curcimin contained within the substance. Turmeric is also known to have strong antioxidant properties and is also linked to improving brain function and lowering the risk of heart disease.
So whether you choose to remain loyal to a more traditional concoction, or experiment with a variety of different blends and flavours, you can be sure that The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company can cater to your Chai Tea needs with our growing selection.
Here is a selection of Chai Teas available on our website, with a delicate taste why not try Madagascan Vanilla Chai Tea, you may have heard the hype around Matcha Tea, why not try our Bombay Chai Matcha Tea or our Red Chai Rooibos Tea which is bursting with flavour.