Chai tea and caffeine
Chai tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine. This tea blend contains several ingredients, including black tea leaves, as well as other herbs and spices, like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. These herbs and spices are caffeine-free, but black tea leaves do contain caffeine.
The caffeine content present in tea is influenced by several factors. These include:
- Leaf size - Chai is typically made using broken leaf black tea, which tends to be higher in caffeine.
- Tea varietal - Originating from India, chai blends usually have an Indian black tea base. Indian black teas are produced from the camellia sinensis var. assamica varietal, which is slightly higher in caffeine.
- Water temperature - Like other black teas, chai should be prepared with boiling water (approximately 212 degrees.) The hotter the water, the more caffeine is present in the tea.
- Steep time - We recommend steeping chai for four to five minutes. Shorter steep times result in a lower caffeine level in the brewed cup of tea.
- The ratio of tea to other ingredients - Chai is a flavored tea with a base of black tea that is then blended with other spices. The lower the ratio of tea leaves to other ingredients, the lower the caffeine level will be.
About caffeine in tea
Whether you’re looking for a little boost in the morning, or are trying to steer clear of caffeine entirely, it’s always important to consider the caffeine content when selecting a tea. Caffeinated teas range from trace amounts of caffeine to high caffeine teas with about half the caffeine level of a cup of coffee. Herbal and rooibos teas contain no caffeine at all.
Many people looking for an alternative to coffee turn to tea to provide a milder morning pick-me-up that still contains some caffeine. Here at ArtfulTea, we carry teas with a wide range of caffeine levels, from hearty Indian blacks to caffeine-free tisanes and everywhere in between!
Chai tea benefits
This spiced tea blend is full of beneficial properties. Some of the benefits of chai tea include:
- High in antioxidants
- Good for your heart
- Good for digestion
- Boosts energy
- Good for your skin
- Reduces inflammation
- Good for your teeth
- Fights off colds
- Soothes headaches
- Soothes period pain
- Improves cognitive function
- Soothes sore throats
- Good for your immune system
- Soothes nausea
- Reduces muscle pain
The history of chai
In Hindi, the word "chai" simply means "tea," while the term "masala" refers to a blend of spices. In the west, we've come to use the term "chai" for that special mixture of black tea and fragrant spices with milk and sugar (or honey) that creates an aromatic and warming tea drink. The spices most commonly used are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, anise, fennel, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper.
Drinking tea became popular in India in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when British colonists began growing tea in India rather than purchasing it from China. Masala Chai soon developed into a popular local drink in its own right, with traditional Indian spices added to black tea for a unique and satisfying drink.
Our chai teas
Here at ArtfulTea we carry several versions of chai tea to choose from.
This traditional chai blend includes cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root, and cloves, all blended in perfect proportion with a premium Ceylon tea. Add milk and honey for the classic drink, or try it alone for a spicier cup.
When you’re in New Mexico, you quickly learn that chile is part of the culture here. Our Chimayo Chai honors that tradition by including just enough crushed red chile flakes in our chai tea to add the right amount of heat!
This classic spiced tea contains a blend of black tea with apple, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange slices, and pink pepper. It’s a spicy, slightly fruity tea that’s full of flavor.
Rooibos Chai is a traditional blend of chai spices (including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root, coriander, cloves, and pepper) blended with organic South African rooibos for a caffeine-free version of chai.
This chai blend has a green tea base instead of black tea. Spicy-sweet and with a touch of citrus, Green Tea Chai blends green tea leaves with lemongrass, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, cumin, and cardamom for a flavorful twist on a traditional chai.
Does a chai tea latte have caffeine?
Chai tea lattes also contain caffeine. Depending on the ratio of brewed tea to milk, chai tea lattes may be slightly lower in caffeine than traditionally prepared chai tea.
Does a chai latte have coffee in it?
Chai tea lattes don’t typically have coffee in them. Instead of coffee, chai tea or a chai concentrate is blended with frothed milk. Dirty chai lattes include a shot of espresso for an extra kick of caffeine.
Are there caffeine-free versions of chai?
If you’re looking for a caffeine-free cup of chai, Rooibos Chai is a good choice. This naturally caffeine-free blend features a full body, a pleasant natural sweetness, and goes well with milk and honey.