Get Your Chai On
How to brew your own chai tea and its many benefits
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
September 21, 2023
National Chai Day is September 21. Packed with antioxidants, discover the health benefits of this aromatic Indian tea and how to blend and pour the perfect cup.
Steeped in Spices
Chai tea is made from a combo of black tea and spices. Blends typically contain cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black peppercorns. The tea is traditionally brewed using warm water and milk and sweetened to varying degrees.
Compounds in blends can improve digestion and soothe stomach issues. For example, ginger contains anti-nausea properties. Cardamom can relieve gas; cloves may reduce ulcers; and peppercorns could help you better digest and absorb the foods you eat.
Black tea contains flavonoids, which can help hinder plaque buildup in the body’s arteries and reduce stress on the heart. Some research indicates that people who drink several cups daily can lower their blood pressure by several points. Cinnamon may also be beneficial in decreasing harmful LDL cholesterol levels.
Immune System Booster
Vitamin C in the spices and zinc in the black tea may protect cells from free radical damage and help boost the immune system.
Chai can be a delicious alternative to coffee with fewer potential adverse side effects from caffeine. On average, an 8-ounce cup of chai contains around 50 milligrams of caffeine, while an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee has about 100 milligrams. Combined with l-theanine, an amino acid, the tea can provide more stable energy and improve focus. The warm spices, like the cloves and cardamon, may also have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Drinking black tea regularly, like chai, has been linked to strengthening the skin’s potential to fend off environmental aggressors. Theaflavins, antioxidant polyphenols also found in the tea, have been linked to lowering the risk of certain types of cancer, including skin cancer.
How To Brew
Combine spices (crushed or whole) with about 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Ratios can include 1 cinnamon stick, 4-6 cardamom pods, 4-6 cloves, a small piece of ginger, and a pinch of black peppercorns. Adjust the spices according to your taste preferences. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for about 5-15 minutes. Add approximately 2-3 teaspoons of loose black tea leaves or 2-3 tea bags to the pan. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the desired amount of milk or a dairy-free alternative. Add a dash of sweetener, such as brown sugar or honey. Strain and serve.