One of our most asked questions is about the benefits of chai. More specifically, whether chai lattes are good for you, and how much sugar/caffeine is in a chai latte compared to coffee or regular teas. The answer to these questions, is all dependant on how you get your chai fix!
What are the benefits of a chai blend?
The first thing to note is that there is a difference between chai and a chai latte. Chai, or to use it’s full name, Masala Chai, is a spiced tea blend which usually contains black tea, cinnamon, cloves and pepper, but could also include ginger, cardamom and star anise, depending on the blend. There are no hidden nasties in there, and if you are buying an authentic chai, it is all natural (and delicious!).
The ingredients within a chai blend, are said to promote all kinds of health benefits and remedies. For example, ginger is great for calming flu symptoms and nausea, whereas black tea and cinnamon might help some people who are looking to reduce blood pressure.
In short, yes. Chai is good for you as an aromatic Indian masala spice. So, you can pop on the kettle and enjoy a nice cup of chai… without the guilt!
Are chai lattes good for you?
A chai latte is made from chai, with the addition of frothy milk, and traditionally a lot of sugar. This milky sweet and spiced drink was created on the streets of India, and is enjoyed as a sweet treat.
So, chai itself is as good for you as a regular tea, along with all the benefits of the spice blend. However, a chai latte would usually contain a high amount of sugar or sweetened milk, making it pretty unhealthy.
If you want to enjoy a healthy chai latte you can brew your chai as normal, add your own choice of milk and sprinkle with cinnamon or use a little honey. This is a much healthier way of enjoying a chai latte and this is what we do in all of our stores with our decaf Gingerbread Chai (we can make this completely sugar free and it has only 45 calories p/cup!).
Is chai decaf?
Although traditionally, chai consists of caffeinated black tea, with a blend of spices, it doesn’t have to be made this way! Chai spice blends have lots of benefits, that can be combined with decaf teas such as Rooibos, or Yerba Mate, to a make drink which is really good for you, delicious, and caffeine free.
Rooibos tea is naturally sweet, and has lots of benefits, as an antioxidant rich, and anti-inflammatory aid when consumed. When we combine our chai mix with rooibos tea, it makes great decaf latte, like our Gingerbread Chai.