Tea Lover Lessons

7 Amazing Chai Benefits You’ll Love

Blue mug with chai tea and cinnamon stick

Fall is finally here, and we’re looking forward to our favorite seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and chai.

Chai is known for its warm spices, but it has some incredible health benefits as well! Grab a quick cuppa, and we’ll dive right in.

Sips by is the #1 rated tea club. Made by tea lovers for tea lovers, our personalized tea discovery box matches you with 4 new premium teas chosen from thousands of top-rated teas based on your unique taste preferences. Learn more about our tea of the month club.

What Is Chai?

Before it was a delicious autumn latte, chai was a cultural drink enjoyed by many Indian citizens as they traveled from place to place. However, chai has changed very little throughout the years.

Traditional chai is based on Indian black teas such as Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri. These types of teas come from the dried and processed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant (as do all teas, exempting herbal tea), which grows natively in both China and India.

As tea leaves oxidize, elements such as antioxidants and caffeine rise to the surface of the blend. Harvest season and growing conditions also affect tea type and subtype. Chai has a very strong antioxidant and caffeine content.

Chai is very much a folk recipe, with each household and merchant using slightly different blends of spices to achieve their signature flavor. However, many chai recipes include black tea leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger root, cloves, and black peppercorns. Some spice recipes may even include star anise, coriander, allspice, and nutmeg.

Traditional chai is not served straight but is actually topped with milk and sweetener. You can drink chai without the sweetener if you wish, but the sweetener brings out the flavor of the spices in a way that warms you all the way down to your toes.

  • Vendor:
    Rainy Day Tea Co

    Cozy Cloud Chai

    MED-CAFF
    Green Tea
    Cozy Cloud Chai
    50% Off
    Every
  • Vendor:
    Sips by
    discovery

    Chai With A Twist Tea Kit

    MIX-CAFF
    16 CUPS
    Black box with orange topper that says "Chai With A Twist Tea Kit - Made by tea experts, chosen by tea lovers. We know all the tea. Love Sips by. Makes 16 Cups. Four 10G Packets (40G) (1.4OZ)"
    50% Off
  • Vendor:
    Sips by

    Chai Collection

    MIX-CAFF
    Chai Collection
    Sold out

What’s the Difference Between Masala Chai and Chai Tea?

You may have heard of masala chai and chai tea and wondered what the difference was. Technically, there is no real difference between the two besides semantics. “Chai” translates to “tea,” and masala translates to “spiced.” Masala chai is, therefore, “spiced tea,” and chai tea is, well… “tea tea.”

Although these are technically two different names for the same beverage, they can represent different cultural preparations of the same drink. 

Masala chai is synonymous with traditional Indian preparation, which tends to be more robust and creamy. Meanwhile, chai tea indicates a Western preparation of spiced tea, which is often lighter in flavor due to the syrups and spice mixes that coffee shops use.

7 Health Benefits of Chai

If you like chai, we have great news. Chai is actually full of benefits designed to help keep you strong and healthy. Keep reading for a full chai lowdown.

Great Source of Antioxidants

Chai uses a black tea base, which is well-known for its antioxidant properties. Some of the antioxidants found in black tea include polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids. But what do antioxidants do?

Antioxidants help round up and neutralize free radicals, which are unstable atoms. Free radicals can cause serious health issues and potentially lead to long-term illness if they’re left alone.

Your body naturally makes antioxidants, but unfortunately, your natural antioxidants just aren’t enough. This is why it’s so helpful to take in extra antioxidants through your diet. 

You can get antioxidants from green tea, but you’ll get far more by drinking strong black tea. Since chai blends are just spiced black tea, you’re getting the full amount of black tea antioxidants. Healthy levels of antioxidants can also help support your immune system.

Supports Heart Health

It’s never too early to start taking care of your heart and lowering your risk of potential heart issues. Luckily, you can do that while sipping on a cup of chai.

Black tea has been shown to help maintain healthy LDL cholesterol levels. This specific type of cholesterol is often associated with negative long-term outcomes and heart disease, so it’s important to do what you can to keep it down.

Black tea can also help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Blood pressure issues can have serious side effects if left untreated. Unfortunately, there are quite a few factors that can trigger a blood pressure imbalance. 

For instance, stress is linked to high blood pressure. When stress is so prevalent today, it’s important to do what you can to help protect heart health. In this case, that includes fixing yourself a chai latte may be a great way to help support a healthy heart.

Promotes Smooth Digestion

Chai typically contains ginger, which is a well-known home remedy for acid reflux. In fact, one cup of chai contains enough ginger to help relieve some of the discomfort that comes along with heartburn.

Another integral ingredient in chai is black pepper. Some animal studies show that black tea may help support your natural digestive enzymes, which in turn can help you keep your digestive system healthy.

Common chai spices such as cardamom and cloves can also have this effect. If you have an upset stomach or bloating, you might want to try some chai to help relieve some of the effects.

  • Vendor:
    Tea Goblin

    Dragon Dance

    MED-CAFF
    Oolong Tea
    Dragon Dance
    50% Off
  • Vendor:
    Tea Head

    Fireside Maté Chai

    HIGH-CAFF
    Yerba Mate
    Fireside Maté Chai
    50% Off
    Every
  • Vendor:
    Chico Chai

    Turmeric Chai

    NO CAFF
    Rooibos
    Turmeric Chai
    Sold out

Supports Healthy Metabolism

A healthy metabolism converts what you eat and drink into energy, so it’s vital for your overall well-being. However, sometimes our metabolism can get out of whack.

Oftentimes, individuals with metabolic issues have higher or lower blood sugars than normal.

Chai can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. In fact, chai doubles up on this benefit. For one, black tea can help boost your metabolism and support your body’s natural blood sugar regulation. Chai is built on black tea, but it has another trick up its sleeve.

Chai also contains cinnamon and ginger, which are also known to support your body’s natural metabolism. It takes quite a bit of cinnamon and ginger to achieve this effect, but you can try making your own chai with a few extra grams of ginger and cinnamon to get the most out of this yummy drink.

Provides a Boost of Energy

If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, try pouring yourself a cup of masala chai. Not only will its deliciousness instantly wake you up, but black tea also contains caffeine.

Caffeine is a tried-and-true part of many people’s wake-up routines. Some people get their daily amount of caffeine from coffee, but others get it from tea.

The average eight oz cup of black tea contains 47 mg of caffeine, which equates to about half of a cup of brewed coffee. This means that you can drink about eight cups of black tea a day before you hit your caffeine limit.

Black tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which helps promote relaxation and focus. Sometimes caffeine can have unpleasant side effects like jitters, stress, tension, and restlessness. Because the caffeine in tea is absorbed differently by our bodies than the caffeine in coffee, L-theanine can help lessen those jittery effects and help give you a more sustained energy boost.

If you would rather go caffeine-free, try this rooibos coconut chai. This herbal tea blend tastes very similar to traditional chai but is blissfully free from caffeine.

  • Vendor:
    Yum Cha Tea Company

    Rooibos Coconut Chai

    NO CAFF
    Rooibos
    Rooibos Coconut Chai
    Sold out
  • Vendor:
    Nepal Tea

    Kathmandu Cosmos

    Kathmandu Cosmos
    Sold out
  • Vendor:
    Chico Chai

    Red Chai

    NO CAFF
    Rooibos
    Red Chai
    Sold out

Supports Brain Power

If you’ve hit your mid-afternoon slump, try drinking some chai and see how you feel. Black tea has quite a few tricks up its sleeve to give you some extra brainpower.

We mentioned caffeine and L-theanine before, but these elements do more than just give you energy – they can improve your focus as well. In particular, they can help sharpen your attention and increase your alertness. L-theanine can also help lower the risk of age-related mental decline.

Chai has something that regular black tea doesn’t have: cinnamon. The mere smell of cinnamon has been proven to increase alertness and improve memory. Next time you have a big test or presentation, try chai!

Has a Delicious Flavor

This may not be a physical health benefit, but we thought we’d give chai some credit for being extra delicious, anyway. Good taste might not contribute to your physical wellbeing, but we maintain that a delicious cuppa can bring emotional benefits.

There’s something pleasant about sitting with a tasty cup of tea and taking a few moments to refresh, regroup, and reconnect with yourself, especially during the colder seasons.

How to Enjoy Chai

If you’re excited to give chai a try, here are some of our favorite chai recipes.

Hot Masala Chai

To make a traditional masala chai requires something a little different than the typical tea-making process. The first thing you need to do is locate your chai of choice or round up your own mix of spices and some black tea.

If you prefer to use premixed chai, check out our collection of chai teas. We have traditional spiced chai and dozens of fun flavored chai as well. Explore a little, and come back to this recipe once you’ve picked your chai.

Once you’ve got your tea ready, you have a few options. You can steep your tea in boiling water, steep it in hot milk, or choose a mixture of the two. 

If you steep your tea in milk, then you don’t have any extra steps to take once the tea is cool enough to drink. If you steep it in water, then you’ll need to make your tea extra strong and pour in some hot milk. You can make it stronger by using less water and adding more tea bags or leaves.

The type of milk you use doesn’t matter too much, so feel free to substitute it for your favorite dairy-free milk alternative if you want. The only word of advice that we’ll give is that the higher the fat content in your milk, the creamier the chai.

Once your tea is cool enough to drink, you can kick back and enjoy! You can even try letting your tea cool completely and then pouring it over ice for a delicious spiced iced chai.

  • Vendor:
    Zest Tea

    Spicy Masala Chai

    HIGH-CAFF
    Black Tea
    Spicy Masala Chai
    Sold out
  • Vendor:
    Midwest Chai

    Traditional Masala Chai

    HIGH-CAFF
    Black Tea
    Traditional Masala Chai
    Sold out
  • Vendor:
    The Irie Cup

    Masala Chai

    HIGH-CAFF
    Black Tea
    Masala Chai
    Sold out

Chai Latte

A chai latte tastes similar to masala chai, but you’ll make it a bit differently. With a chai latte, you should make about ¼ cup of concentrated chai tea.

While the tea is steeping, heat up some milk on the stove and steam it using a milk frother or a whisk. Once your milk is frothed and your tea is steeped, just add the steamed milk to your tea, and voila!

  • Vendor:
    Worldwide Botanicals

    Organic Rooibos Masala Chai

    NO CAFF
    Herbal Tea
    Organic Rooibos Masala Chai red and green tea bag box
    Sold out
  • Vendor:
    Anjali's Cup

    Chai Masala with Turmeric & Saffron

    Chai Masala with Turmeric & Saffron
    Sold out
  • Vendor:
    Tealish

    Chai Darling

    HIGH-CAFF
    Black Tea
    Chai Darling by Tealish loose leaf tea sample circle
    Sold out

Chai Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, everybody screams for chai ice cream! Since chai is often drunk with milk, we felt like chai ice cream was the next logical step. 

Our ice cream recipe is a little more complicated than traditional masala chai, so you can click here for the full recipe. We love this chai ice cream because it combines the buttery sweetness of chai with creamy ice cream. It’s exactly like tasting masala chai in ice cream form!

Final Thoughts

Chai is a classic spiced tea that is steeped in Indian culture. Besides being delicious, it also has several health benefits. This sweet drink just got even sweeter!

If you like chai, we have some more tea recommendations for you. Just take our quiz, and we’ll deliver our handpicked suggestions once a month. Why not chai it?

Chai Shop

Discover the best chai teas as rated by Sips by's 1,000,000 tea-loving Members. Shop Sips by's best chai from multiple tea brands from around the world. Explore all types of chai to try, from classic loose leaf chai to caffeine-free rooibos chai and chai green tea blends. Discover your new favorite chai today!

Person in green floral sweater holding an open Sips by Box with chai tea samples

Shop Now

Interested in trying these teas and others? Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscription box or explore the loose leaf tea shop.

Share on Pinterest

About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate. 

Sources:

The Hidden Health Benefits of Tea | Penn Medicine 

The Best Teas to Drink for Your Health | Cleveland Clinic

7 Ways to Reduce Stress and Keep Blood Pressure Down | Harvard Health 

Black Pepper and its Pungent Principle-Piperine: a Review of Diverse Physiological Effects | PubMed Central 

Effects of l-Theanine on Cognitive Function in Middle-Aged and Older Subjects: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study | NIH

Leave a Comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.