What do you know about chai tea? Do you know its nutritional value and side effects? Does chai tea contain calorie? How do you ascertain Chai tea calorie?
The above questions and more are what this article seeks to answer. I urge you to kindly read to the end, as the discovery made here is not only enlightening but also interesting.
Tea has long been a major part of our diet. No one would ever claim that they have never taken one form of tea or the other, or that they do not have a particular spice or tea they relish. This is even the more true when we acknowledge the fact that we have thousands of varieties of tea worldwide.
This article, in addition to answering the questions asked earlier, will look at Chai tea thoroughly and examine chai tea calorie level.
What is Masala Chai or Chai Tea?
Most countries of the world refer to tea as chai. This name is immemorial and the origin cannot be ascertained. In some part of African, especially west Africa, tea sellers are referred to as “Mai Chai”. This is perhaps not unconnected to the fact that tea has always been doped as chai.
However, in the western world, Chai is now used to describe a particular brand of tea. Chai is a sweet and spicy or flavoured tea which is famous for its pleasant aroma. This tea is manufactured from a combination of black tea, ginger and other spices.
Chai tea, originally referred to as Masala chai is a tea beverage made by boiling black tea in milk and water with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices.
This tea originated in China and, as a beverage, has gained worldwide popularity. The popularity of this tea can be appreciated when we consider that its becoming a featured brand in many coffee and tea houses.
Masala Chai is traditionally prepared as a deconcoction of green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn together with black tea leaves, retail versions include tea bags for infusion, instant powdered mixtures, and concentrates.
The term “chai” originated from the Hindustani word “chai”, which was derived from the Chinese word for tea, cha. In English, this spiced tea is commonly referred to as masala chai, or simply chai, even though the term refers to tea in general in the original language.
Numerous coffee houses use the term chai latte or chai tea latte for their version to indicate that it is made with steamed milk, much like that used to make a caffè latte, but mixed with a spiced tea concentrate instead of espresso.
By 1994, the term had gained currency on the U.S. coffeehouse scene.
Plain chai does not contain calorie. However, rarely is chai served plain. It is often served with milk or soy milk, sweeteners and latte. Therefore, determining chai tea calorie would largely depend on the ingredients added while preparing it.
If you love the spicy, aromatic flavors of chai tea, there’s no need to choose between your beverage and your diet.
Masala Chai or Chai Tea Ingredients
Masala Chai or chai tea ingredients is varied, and depends on the preparation.
The recipe or preparation method for masala chai is not fixed, and many families have their own versions of the tea. Most chai contains caffeine, typically one-third that of coffee (if made with a black tea base).
The tea leaves steep in the hot water long enough to extract intense flavour, ideally without releasing the bitter tannins. Because of the large range of possible variations, masala chai can be considered a class of tea rather than a specific kind.
However, masala chai has five basic components which are almost always present: water, tea leaves, milk, sugar, a mixture of cardamom and black pepper, and ginger.
It has been observed that the western adaption of masala chai, or chai latte, has a lighter and sweeter taste than the Indian version of a more herbal and spicier milk beverage.
The most common Chai tea ingredients are cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, fennel, and cloves. Other ingredients are coriander seeds, star anise and peppercorns.
Unlike regular tea, which is brewed with water, chai tea is traditionally brewed using both warm water and warm milk. It also tends to be sweetened to varying degrees.
Chai Tea Calorie
Chai tea is very low in calorie. However, It is rarely taken alone. When prepared with some additives, such as milk, lattes and other flavours, its calorie level increases. this is because most of this additives have high volume of calorie.
Chai Tea Calorie Variations
Chai Tea Latte
When chai tea is prepared with latte, it comes out with high constituent of calories. This is because of the huge volume of calorie in latte. Chai tea latte is reputedly high.
This is why we see that chai lattes from the coffee shop are often loaded with calories. Latte calories is one of the highest.
Chai Tea Milk
Traditionally in India, water buffalo milk is used to make chai. Masala chai is made by mixing one part milk with two to four parts water and heating the liquid to near boiling (or even full boiling).
Some people like to use sweetened condensed milk in their masala chai to double as the sweetener. For those who prefer to drink chai without milk, the portion is replaced with water.
Where chai tea is prepared with milk, its calorie level increases. for example, 12-ounce version brewed with whole milk may contain 200 calories. This is incredibly higher than the amount found in a can of soda
Chai Tea Soy Milk
When the tea is prepared with soy milk, it a cup serving would contain 180 calories and when brewed with nonfat milk, the same measurement contains 160 calories.
Preparation of the Tea (This Reduces Chai Tea Calorie)
The greatest concern in the preparation of masala chai is its calorie level. Chai tea calorie is a major discouragement for many. Therefore, while preparing masala chai, make sure you consider the calorie level required. This is even more important because chai tea calorie is high when prepared with latte.
The simplest traditional method of preparing masala chai is through decoction, by actively simmering or boiling a mixture of milk and water with loose-leaf tea, sweeteners, and whole spices.
Indian markets all over the world sell various brands of chai masala. Because of its popularity in India, many households or tea vendors, known in India as chai wallahs, blend their own.
The solid tea and spice residues are strained off from masala chai before serving.
The method may vary according to taste or local custom; for example, some households may combine all of the ingredients at the start, bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately strain and serve; others may leave the mixture simmering for a longer time, or begin by bringing the tea leaves to a boil and only add the spices toward the end (or vice versa).
A common Maharashtrian practice for preparation of one cup of chai is to first combine one half cup of water with one-half cup of milk in a pot over heat. Sugar may be added at this point or after. Ginger is then grated into the mixture followed by adding a “tea masala”.
Although the ingredients may vary from region to region, “tea masala” typically consists of crushed ginger, crushed cardamom, lemon grass, cloves, and cinnamon.
The mixture is brought to a boil and 1 teaspoon of loose black tea is added. The chai is immediately taken off the heat, covered, and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to allow the black tea to infuse into the chai. The chai is then strained and served.
Consumption of Chai Tea
Masala chai or chai tea is consumed heavily across South Asian households as a beverage.
While most people like to consume it in the morning along with breakfast, it is also offered to any guests that visit.
With increase in demand of tea both in Asia and world over, many startups in India have taken tea stalls as a good business opportunity.
There are now numerous larger food chains serving “Masala Chai” along with light snacks and are flourishing within office and college campus premises
You must be careful when taking chai tea. Taking a large quantity of this tea daily may be a source of fat. If you want to lose weight, you must take chai tea with moderation. On the other hand, if you want to gain weight and muscle mass, you may take a little above the daily calorie level. You can also read our article which discussed the best way to gain weight.
The best approach is that you brew your own tea. It is advised that you brew according to your taste and that you put less caloric latte.
You can add just half a cup measure of nonfat milk and half a tablespoon of honey to make a chai tea with only 75 calories.