What is Chai Tea?
You must be living under a rock to not have heard of ‘chai tea latte’. But, you may not have tried it yet. So what is the hype around this beverage about? Why the name ‘chai’? And what is the history behind it?
Chai is a popular drink in the eastern cultures which is slowly but surely taking the west by a storm too. But let's clarify that chai essentially is a Hindi word that refers to the amalgamation of black tea, milk and sugar, so calling it ‘chai - tea latte’ can be translated to calling ‘cafe mocha’ as ‘cafe mocha coffee latte’. We will thus drop the unnecessary ‘tea latte’.
Origin of Chai Tea
‘Chai’, like most other inventions, was an accidental discovery. A king in India, some 5000 years ago wished for a medicinal drink made of spices to aid in healing and so the birth of the ancient equivalent of ‘Starbucks’ was set into motion. The addition of milk, sugar and other spices was a consequence of the diversity of cultures and traditions in India and around the world.
Does Chai have a set recipe?
Chai, as it was originally intended, was an Ayurvedic cocktail of spices. However today, it has changed form. While the fashion in which it is prepared is region centric, the basic idea is that it is a well spiced black tea latte, usually sweetened.
It is this versatility of the drink and the option to customize the taste according to your liking that owes to its unparalleled fame. Although some may argue that there is a correct way to prepare it versus other ‘incorrect’ ways. But, it is the absence of this 'one' perfect recipe that is indeed the beauty of it.
Why should you drink Chai?
Upon searching ‘why should one drink chai?’, Google instantly lists down the myriad health benefits of chai. Chai being a mighty source of antioxidants acts as powerful stress busters and even prevents cancer and other diseases.
In all its glory, chai is termed as the magic drink because you possibly can’t name a health complication that chai can’t help with. It is the way forward for a healthy heart, balanced blood sugar levels in the body, and drastically helps to reduce inflammation in the body. It also increases one’s attentiveness and focus due to the caffeine in black tea and the adaptogens in the spices present in it.
So do you need more reason to add this drink to your daily habit?