Published: 12/19/2014 - Updated: 10/09/2018
Author: Miriam Reyes
Whenever we talk about Masala Chai or Indian chai tea, we are referring to a beverage that is popular in Indian. In addition to the black tea, it contains other spices, making a pleasant and beneficial mixture.
The ingredients used to make Masala Chai tea are native to India, and consist of black tea, ginger, black pepper, star anise, cardamom, fragrant cloves and cinnamon. The resulting tea has a peculiar and pleasant taste.
The flavor of Indian Chai
It could be described as smooth but distinctive, slightly creaming. The spices are very faint, but they are present. The cinnamon, anise and fragrant clove all create an exceptional mixture with the black tea, without overpowering any one of the ingredients. That’s why chai can only be described as tasting like chai. It also does not taste bitter or have a strong aftertaste, unlike other teas.
Masala chai looks a lot like coffee with milk or cream, but has a slightly softer color. Although it is native to Indian, there are several different recipes for preparing it, and it can be found commercially in different forms, ready for consumption.
Benefits of Masala Chai tea
Masala Chai tea contains a variety of ingredients that are uniquely beneficial, giving this tea several different properties.
Due to the nature of this tea and its spices, this is a relaxing drink, and even just its fragrance can calm one down. So if you have the opportunity to enjoy a cup of this beneficial tea, make sure to savor the aroma.
Thanks to the ginger in it, masala Chai possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties because this ingredient blocks prostaglandins. These substances take part in the inflammatory process. In addition to the ginger, Masala Chai also contains cloves, an ingredient that provides eugenol. Eugenol is a substance that contributes to muscle relaxation and inflammation reduction.
Masala Chai tea is rich in healthy tannins that act as antioxidants and also create a revitalizing drink.
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Caffeine, or theine, is another substance found in Masala Chai tea and is known for its stimulating effect. However, Masala Chai tea contains less caffeine that a cup of coffee, but is similar to that of a cup of tea. The other ingredients, in addition to the caffeine, also help to fight fatigue. This tea has even been used by Olympic athletes to improve performance and to reduce recovery times.
Another benefit of Masala Chai tea is that it helps strengthen the immune system. I prevent common infections like colds, and it has even been attributed properties that are useful against parasites, thanks to its spice content.
Indian chai tea is fairly recommendable when suffering from a cold because the aroma of cloves, cinnamon and ginger can help fight persistent coughs and keep colds at bay. Chai tea also promotes good digestion because the ginger and anise are two digestive ingredients that balance out the tea’s properties.
We should also should mention that drinking Indian Chai tea could be good for heart health, thanks to its antioxidants and ingredients, like cloves, which help reduce bad cholesterol levels, promoting an increase in good cholesterol.
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If you want to lose weight, you should keep Masala Chai tea in mind, because it is a good ally to use. Not only does it contribute to good digestion which can promote weight loss, but it has been shown to have thermogenic effects, which is said the naturally accelerate the metabolism. It is a useful complement in a reduced calorie diet with exercise.
And last but not least, Masala can also prevent the appearance of disease, like Alzheimer’s and diabetes. This is because it contains cinnamon, a spice that has been proven to be beneficial in these cases. It is advisable to consult your doctor, however, if you already suffer from any of these diseases.
Recipe for Masala Chai Tea
You can make your own chai tea at home if you have the following ingredients:
- ¾ c. water
- ½ c. milk of your preference
- 1 Tbsp. black tea
- 1 open grain of cardamom
- 1 clove
- 3 peppercorns
- 1 piece of a cinnamon stick
- ½ Tbsp. grated ginger root
- Sugar or sweetener to taste
- Crush the peppercorn, cardamom, and clove into a powder. This doesn’t need to be very fine.
- Boil the water with milk and add the crushed spices, along with the cinnamon, and let boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat and add the black tea and ginger. Boil for 5 minutes, or until the tea darkens. Strain and serve.
- Enjoy warm.
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