10 Things You Should Know About Chai Tea

1. Chai is the Indian word for “tea.” In the West, however, chai refers to spiced tea — that is, tea with traditional Indian spices and milk. This is sometimes called “Masala chai.” In India, Masala chai is more popular than coffee, and “chai wallahs”, or street vendors, are a common sight. As the popularity of chai is now growing rapidly in the rest of the world, it has changed somewhat. In America we are just as likely to drink chai on ice, or in a sweetened, creamier variation known as a “Chai Latte.”

2. The spices in Chai Tea have been used to promote health for thousands of years. Also there is a growing body of evidence showing that the tea in chai has numerous health benefits. Tea polyphenols have been linked in research to increased attention and focus (Theanine), cardiovascular health, protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and even may have the potential to alter cancer genetics.

3. Chai is also available made with green tea instead of black, as well as Rooibos, or red tea. Green tea has slightly less caffeine, and large amounts of EGCg, a powerful anti-oxidant. It was first assumed that green tea had higher health benefits, but new research is finding that the theaflavins and thearubigens of black tea actually carry similar health benefits. Rooibos is a caffeine-free variety of tea sought for its additional health benefits. It is widely believed that it is the synergistic combination of tea and spices that make chai such a beneficial and healthy drink.

4. Commercial prebrewed chai is typically available as a concentrate to be mixed with milk. It is also available as a powder mix, or you can buy it in bulk tea and brew it yourself. Which is best? That depends on you. Concentrates are brewed under ideal conditions and pressures, so they often tend to taste a bit stronger, bolder and/or spicier. Dry mixes can be even more convenient, however. Bulk tea and bags must be brewed and sweetener added, so the process takes more time, but many still prefer this.

5. How much caffeine is in chai? A typical cup of chai tea prepared as directed contains approximately 40mg of caffeine (4 oz of black tea) compared to roughly 120mg in an average cup of coffee. However, the caffeine in tea seems to work differently due to the interaction with a component of tea known as tannin, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. This causes the caffeine to be absorbed much more slowly, avoiding the caffeine “shock” and inducing a calm, relaxed yet focused state characteristic of alpha brain wave patterns. Green tea chai contains less caffeine. Rooibos (red tea) chai contains no caffeine naturally.

6. Many people discover they actually prefer the taste of chai over coffee. (And here at Chai-Direct.com we agree. It is after all, our mission to offer a healthy alternative of coffee!) Chai is mentally clarifying and energizing yet calming at the same time. So chai gives you a subtle “pick me up” without nervousness, jitters. And unlike standard tea, chai tea has substantially more body and flavor so it is an ideal coffee substitute. Also, unlike standard teas, chai tea tends to be stronger and bolder, enhanced by the spices. So it is a natural coffee substitute. Try chai for a week. We think you will like it!

7. Because chai doesn’t have the caffeine “shock” of coffee, you can enjoy a few extra cups! And you can even have it in the evening, without disturb sleep. (If you are highly sensitive to caffeine, however, try Rooibos Chai in the evening.)

8. Many of the chai products available from Chai-Direct.com are “Fair Trade Certified”, which means the products are grown, harvested and purchased according to the rules of the Fair Trade organizations. We want you to help you make an informed decision about all aspects of the products you buy.

9. Many of the chai products available from Chai-Direct.com are “USDA Organic”. This means it is grown without chemical pesticides, fertilizers or sludge, and it is not genetically modified.

10. Chai Direct is also happy to offer the complete line of Yogic Tea nutritionals. These specially-blended chai formulas include specific medicinal herbs which support various body systems. If you are interested in herbal nutrition, this is a great-tasting way to get it.

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