How do you take your chai?
Do you prefer it as a mellower blend or do you prefer it when heavy on spices? In any way you take it, you can always be assured of one thing- it contains black tea (and black tea contains caffeine).
You can argue that you can use decaffeinated tea bags- that’s right. But if your chai is made using natural black coffee, there’s no doubt it contains some measure of caffeine.
The reason I came up is to put clear the debate that has been onion on whether chai contains caffeine or not.
Let’s kick off our discussion:
First, we take a look at what makes up chai tea….
Ingredients of Chai Tea
A look at the history chronicles shows that chai developed from India about 2,500 years ago during their trade with China.
In today’s world, chai generally refers to tea in Bangladesh and Pakistan… and a hot beverage containing milk and Indian spices in the rest of the world. You might hear also hear people calling it “masala chai” owing to its spices (masala refers to spices in India).
It’s, however, important to note that this beverage had undergone many iterations across the globe. For instance, the “Chai Latte” version is highly popular…and looks like the tradition chai tea, with some creamy, frothy consistency.
All the spices used in chai tea are simply the ones that have been sued in India for many, many years. They include ginger, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, not forgetting black tea.
That being said, you might also find additional ingredients like Star Anise, Cloves, or even Coriander seeds!
When it comes to black tea you use o brew your cup of chai, you can also pick from several varieties- from the Darjeeling to Assam, Ceylon, and English. Most people prefer brewing the tea in milk.
You can also add a sweetener- sugar or honey- to make it more delicious!
So, what’s the caffeine content of Chai Tea?
Naturally, your chai contains black tea, which means it must contain some level of caffeine in it (unless you use decaffeinated tea).
However, nailing the exact amount of caffeine in a single cup of chai becomes a bit difficult.
In other words, the amount of caffeine in your chai tea depends on several factors. These include the amount of black tea you used to brew your tea and the duration of brewing your tea before removing that tea bag from your cup.
Even with these variations, we can still come up with a way of estimation caffeine content in chai:
According to a report published by the “Center for Science in the Public Interest,” an 8-ounce black tea cup brewed for around 3 minutes contains about 30-80mg of caffeine.
Since chai falls under the same range as the black tea, it’s safe to say that a cup of chai latte contains as much as 50mg of caffeine.
Compared to other beverages, this is a much lower content. For instance, coffee has a high caffeine content of up to 75-150mg, while green tea contains up to 35-60mg caffeine.
NOTE: The caffeine in a cup of chai tea tend to act more subtly than that in a cup of coffee. And this stems from the fact that the former contains spices as well, which makes the caffeine absorption into your body a bit slower. The gradual absorption is significant as it translates to subtle stimulation- no jitteriness, no restlessness.
So, that’s it about Chai Tea. As a beverage that originated in India thousands of years ago, it has undergone iterations, and you’ll find it in different versions across the world. Because the content of caffeine in the black tea sued t brew chai tend to vary, it becomes difficult to establish the exact amount of caffeine in your cup of this tea.
But one thing is for sure…the caffeine content in the beverage depends on the brewing time, with longer time increasing the caffeine content. The amount of black tea you use will also affect the amount of caffeine in your final chai cup.
Hopefully, this post has shed some light on the caffeine content in your chai tea, and you can enjoy a cup without worrying of consuming too much caffeine.
Enjoy your chai!