Chai has a very storied and lengthy history going over the course of a couple millennium. While it has broadened in its definition over the years, a basic taste profile has developed. This blog will go over the in and outs of the basic recipe components that make up this spicy beverage.
Many of the main ingredients have had studies that showed they may help with reducing inflammation and blood pressure. The health benefits, caffeine content, and spicy profile make this a popular cozy brew.
The most common form is made with black tea. However, you can now see it made with white, green, and herbal teas. Four ingredients of chai: tea, milk, sugar, and spices. All four of these ingredients are the basic foundation of what we now call a chai latte. The chai latte is made up of half tea and half milk to give it a rich, creamy, and spicy experience.
The common theme that now defines chai is tea and spices. Top spices include: pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. Chefs create unique recipes resulting in a cup more full of ginger or some that is more focused solely on cinnamon. Some varieties up the ante with cayenne to add a level of depth to the brew.
Different diets that need to have no dairy or sugar have propelled the changes in the current chai market. Consumers are now demanded straight up tea with no milk or sugar, once a staple with chai worldwide. Bulletproof style chai is a hot and trendy beverage offering found across swanky coffee shops. It involves grass fed butter and coconut oil blended with hot water brewed with chai tea.
Bakery items containing all the spices found in chai are catching on as well. It's hard to not find a pumpkin bread that doesn’t run right in step with these ingredients. I’m not quite sure why these ingredients are as popular as they are but do take note how prevalent you will see them wherever you go.
In one of our blogs we actually provide a recipe to make chai spice pear pie! Man oh man! It is a great recipe and an easy way to incorporate these flavors into your diet without committing to a cup of hot tea.
Our company carries five versions of chai all made with a different tea base: black, white, rooibos, mate, and pu-erh. There is a type for each and every mood you may have. It's up to you how you want to brew it and dress it up. Black tea is the most popular variety. Years of exploring different versions, I can assure chai is good in all the varieties.
Here is a comparison of ingredients with our different varieties of chai we offer:
- Black: Organic black tea, organic ginger, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, and organic cloves.
- White: Organic white tea, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, and organic cardamom.
- Rooibos: Organic rooibos, organic cinnamon chips, organic ginger root, and organic cardamom.
- Yerba Mate: Organic yerba mate, organic cinnamon chips, organic ginger root, and organic cardamom.
- Pu-Erh: Organic Pu-Erh, organic cinnamon, organic ginger root, and organic cardamom.
After reading through all the different ingredients and ways you can come to fall in love with spicy brew I hope you have a more thorough understanding and appreciation for it. The first time I had this beverage was in a chai latte form at the local coffee shop in town. It was served with honey as the sweetener. I must admit this is my go to for special occasions only now. My palate has had to switch to a less sweet offering for health reasons.
Some of my fondest memories when I could drink it regularly was when it came to holidays. Having the chai latte with pumpkin, chocolate, or eggnog were some of my favorite times. While those are quite the departure from the traditional masala chai I came to appreciate all the different forms. Anything with the spices I was craving was good for me.
It wasn’t until my time at Full Leaf that I really made the opportunity to try this just as a loose leaf offering. When I had tried it over the years beforehand the aroma would always smell fantastic, but then when I found myself consuming the tea it was so weak in its body and flavor. It didn’t match the corresponding strength of the spices. I was bummed.
I gave the full leaf movement a try and started with our masala chai. Not having the ingredients crushed as found often in tea bags actually made a huge difference. The strong flavor profiles found in the aroma was matching the flavor and body of the tea finally. It was an incredibly smooth cup not full of any bitterness. I’m glad that I made the jump and tried it in a high quality setting.
A really great way to try a new type of tea is to jump in. I had fun trying all the different varieties in different brewing methods. It is a great way to expand your palate while discovering your next favorite tea.
I'll leave you with a final spotlight about our sampler. Similar to how your local brewery offers a flight of their beer, we sell a sampler pack of four teas. It is a great way to taste and see which kind you gravitate towards without committing to purchasing an entire container. Go ahead and spice up your life! Click here to visit the chai sampler page and get started on your journey!