If we haven’t met yet, I’m a HUGE fan of tea. There are so many reasons why I drink tea almost every day. We live in a world that can be so toxic and polluted and I’m all for doing everything we can to combat the external stressors we’re exposed to everyday! Because it’s full of powerful antioxidants, tea is a great way to offset some of that stress, and offers many other health benefits for your mind and body.
I love tea in all its forms – from the simple beauty of a perfectly steeped cup, to more “decadent” concoctions like a creamy chai tea latte.
A while back I invested in a milk frother for my kitchen, and so of course I needed to come up with the perfect homemade chai concentrate recipe to make all my homemade chai tea latte dreams come true! (I also personally think this drink is far superior to the trendy Pumpkin Spice Latte, since it’s perfectly acceptable to drink year-round 😉)
But first, let’s talk about the types of tea and why you should drink more of it!
Types of Tea
The primary types of “true” tea are White, Green, and Black. These teas actually all come from the same plant but are simply processed differently.
White tea contains the highest amount of antioxidants, because these are young leaves from the plant that are the least processed. It has a mild flavor and the least amount of caffeine, so if you’re you’re sensitive to caffeine it will be a good option for you.
Green tea comes from the same tea plant but has been allowed to partially oxidize and usually has a “green” flavor.
Black tea has been allowed to oxidize completely and includes some powerful antioxidants that have been shown to provide cholesterol-lowering benefits as well as benefits to the cardiovascular system.
Herbal teas that we commonly drink aren’t actually “true” teas that come from tea plant like the three types listed above. They’re usually just a blend of different herbs and spices that can deliver specific benefits depending on what’s in them. So even though it’s not “true” tea, they’re still a great option. Herbal teas also generally have no caffeine so can be consumed at any time, and many can even help you to get better sleep.
So, What About Chai Tea?
The name “chai” is actually the Hindi word for “tea”, which was derived from “cha”, the Chinese word for “tea”. Legend has it that the origin of chai dates back more than 5,000 years, when a king in what is now India ordered a healing spiced beverage be created for use in Ayurveda.
My mission is to help you learn how to heal your body with food, and this homemade chai is no exception! While chai recipes will vary in different cultures or regions, it is traditionally black tea (I used this one for this recipe) mixed with a variety of spices that offer a wide range of health benefits.
In this specific recipe, the heat from ginger and black pepper was believed to stimulate digestion; the antiseptic properties in cloves were thought to help relieve pain; cardamom was used as a mood elevator; cinnamon supported circulation and respiratory function; and star anise was known to freshen the breath.
I explored many recipes while researching to come up with this recipe, and I have to say that I think this is, hands down, the best chai concentrate recipe in the west. But I’ll let you be the judge!