Chai, Please! What Is It?
Chai tea has a long history - longer than I was aware of! It wasn’t always known as a house staple tea blend. When originated in India, Chai was made out of many different spices - western culture modified it to make it into the tea that is available in your local coffee shop today. Interesting fact: “Chai” is actually the Hindi word for “tea”. So basically all of the times I’ve said “I’d like some chai tea” I was actually saying to people “i’d like some tea tea” - and now I can’t order it with a straight face.
While chai can be prepared in many different ways, there are always these health benefits it can bring to your table!
It can lower your blood pressure.
Basically next time you’re in a high stress situation, grab the chai! Chai blends generally include the ingredient cinnamon which is known to help lower your blood pressure or prevent hypertension.
It can also help to lower your blood sugar.
If you’re watching your blood sugar levels this is a great excuse to switch from your morning cup o’ Joe to a perfect chai blend - find my favorites below! Since chai contains ingredients like ginger and cinnamon, it can help to prevent a jump in blood sugar levels and aids in controlling your glucose levels.
It can lower and control your insulin resistance.
This is a major health benefit for those of us who have health issues that effect our insulin resistance - hello, pcos! The ginger and cinnamon found in most chai blends are ingredients that can be linked with lowering your insulin resistance.
It can enhance your brain function.
Who doesn’t want to focus a little better through out the day! Since chai blends is considered a black tea it is known for its higher caffeine qualities which has been linked to aiding in maintaining and improving focus capabilities.
It can improve your heart health.
The heart is a vital organ that needs taken care of, too. The cinnamon found in most chai blends has been linked to lowering overall cholesterol levels. I often forget to focus on my heart health so any health benefit I can find in this department is a positive for me!
It can help to reduce nausea.
Every pregnant woman knows that ginger is one of the best natural ways to reduce nausea. Well, the ginger found in most chai blends can help with reducing nausea.
My Favorite Brands! You've Gotta Try Them
I love a variety of chai blends but these two have stolen my heart. Some chai blends are more authentic to the original chai developed years ago in India, and some chai blends are more westernized - these are mostly the blends found at your local grocery store.
My hope is that our westernized chai blends can find their way a little closer to the original chai roots - because why change something that clearly is so beneficial and tastes so damn good! - and our more authentic chai blends can become more locally accessible!
Here are my favorite two chai blends that I try to always have stocked in my fridge - very different styles but still both tasty.
Chaiwala, as a company, stands for creating an authentic chai blend - and one of my favorite ones available!
What inspired the owners to create an accessible and authentic chai blend? A backpacking adventure to Nepal and India - talk about a work trip!
When I first tried Chaiwala I was shocked, not because it was so unbelievably tasty - which it was - but because I felt like I had been lied to my whole life. “So this is what chai tastes like!”. Chai tea has become a go to for my mom and I so of course I had to make her some when I first tried this blend. Now, every time we’re having tea together she never lets me forget to bring the Chaiwala - I’m not exaggerating.
This authentic blend isn’t a completely different flavor from the chai that we’re used to - think of it more as an elevated and rich flavor where you can almost taste the variety of spices.
I savor my Chaiwala because it is coming from Canada and can be a process to get into the states but if you’re looking for an authentic taste and new experience I couldn’t recommend this blend enough.
This brand of chai is highly convenient - you can find it at your local target. This chai will always have a place in my heart but again, know that it isn’t a great representation of an authentic chai blend. But if you’re looking for a good brand of chai at a more convenient level, this is the one I always reach for.
I especially love that it comes as tea bags or in a concentrate form - there are a ton of different tazo concentrate flavors to choose from. I recommend the skinny concentrate because its way less sweet - I like my drinks sweet but not I-had-dessert-for-breakfast sweet. I pair a 3/4 cup pour of that with oat milk and I’m out the door - quick and easy for an on the go chai! And way less pricey than my typical Starbucks order!
Have you tried a chai tea - aka tea tea - before? Have you had another authentic blend? If so, what are your favorites? I love to try new blends!