Chai Tea is delicious, healthy, unique and ancient. We will look at why so many people love chai tea, what its healthy components are and what makes this tea unique. Throughout, we will look at the history of chai tea and how it has become so popular around the world in recent years.
Chai tea has an unforgettably bold, yet smooth and rich flavor. The texture is thick and velvety, similar to the feeling of coffee. For this reason, many people have started substituting chai tea for coffee. Since chai tea has about half the caffeine as coffee, plus all the other purported health benefits of tea, the switch is generally an easy decision. Additionally, chai tea has a soothing aroma that enhances in the overall drinking experience. Chai tea is usually flavored with one, or a combination of, with sugar, honey, milk or syrup.
The health benefits widely depend on the ingredients used to make chai tea. While there are some standard ingredients, chai tea recipes can differ greatly both in home and commercially. The base is usually organic or non-organic black tea. Typically, added spices can include, but are not limited to, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, fennel, ginger, nutmeg and quite often vanilla. The typical ingredients, when mixed, is said to calm the mind, revitalize the spirit and aid in digestion. Additionally, the typical ingredients each have health benefits of their own. Cinnamon has been associated with reducing the risks associated with diabetes. This may be because cinnamon blocks insulin from getting into the cells. Additionally, it may help to lower blood pressure in those with diabetes and prevent cell damage. Lastly, the cinnamon helps to stop or prevent the growth of bacteria and yeast. Cardamom is used to calm digestion problems, treat respiratory ailments such as asthma, and acts as an anti-inflammatory aiding in relieving muscle spasms. Pepper is an anti-oxidant, though the amount usually found in chai tea is minimal. Cloves are often used as an analgesic, which soothes tooth and mouth pain, but the antiseptic properties also kill intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria that in turn treat other symptoms such as diarrhea and digestive ailments. Ginger is known to treat an upset stomach, diarrhea, arthritis, and heat disease. Recent research has also linked ginger to reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Chai tea is unique in that there are so many variations to the recipe. From box to box, café to café and home to home, you will inevitably run across hundreds of differing ingredients. Since the typical spices can compliment many other added ingredients, it is easy to add your favorite or healthy spice in there as well. Some like anise, while others like vanilla. It is personal preference and depends on what health benefits you desire. Buying the ingredients fresh and blending at home makes for a healthier and tastier brew, this however could get rather expensive.
The word chai derives from India and means black tea and has been used for millennia's. Chai tea has become as popular as tea in the United Kingdom and coffee in the United States. Because of it's growing popularity, chai tea can be found in just about every major retailer, though specialty shops generally have a tastier and fresher blend. Additionally, as with any tea, the larger the bag and pieces of spices, herbs and tealeaves, the better the brew. Creating you favorite chai tea will not only be a unique experience but will delight your taste buds, refresh you mind and spirit and offer your body health benefits through natural herbs and seasonings.
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