Real proper chai tea in my opinion is if not more satisfying than coffee only it is literally packed full of medicinal spices and antioxidants. My father used to suffer from a terrible and constant cough which he took a whole array of medicines but when I got him onto chai tea his symptoms improved more than ever before. To get the health benefits from chai tea you will need to make it yourself using spices and fresh ginger as the chai powder they sell in supermarkets is merely just a flavored confectionary drink. Drinking real chai tea every day will not only make you feel energized on a different level from what coffee does but it has many health benefits which include:
Rich in antioxidants
Boosts heart health
Improves digestion and can relieve bloating
Increases energy and alertness
Is good for the skin
Kills bacteria and helps protect teeth
Helps fight off colds and other viruses
Can help with sore throats and respiratory problems
Can help you to lose weight
Reduces blood sugar levels
Aids menstrual cramps
Fights cancer & can reduce tumor growth
To learn more about the health benefits of spices like Cinnamon, check out my Superfoods Bible.
The recipe below will make one batch of chai tea concentrate that you should get 5 cups out of. You can store your chai tea concentrate in the fridge for one week.
1 1/2 cups of water
5 teaspoons of black loose-leaf tea or 5 teabags
12 Cardamon pods or 1 teaspoon of ground cardamon
8 black peppercorns
2 star anise
5cm piece of fresh ginger thinly sliced
2 large or 4 small cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder (try to get Ceylon variety)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of allspice
1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg
+ Milk and honey when you’re making up a cup
If you end up making this often then you can buy larger bags of spices from Indian stores which are much better value than the very small packets most supermarkets stock. Most of the small packets will last for a while but you will be forever buying cinnamon sticks!
Holistic cooking tip – when you buy your cinnamon it is a good idea to read the label and try to get one that contains Ceylon or “True cinnamon” as the other variety Cassia, which contains a compound called coumarin which can cause health problems in high doses. Some scientists believe that coumarin causes DNA damage over time and increases the risk of cancer.
I’d recommend using loose-leaf tea instead of tea bags as many tea bags contain plastic but if you prefer to use tea bags you can check the label to see how natural they are.
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- Put everything except the milk and honey into a small pot, boil, and then simmer on low for 20 minutes.
2. Strain into another pot and use a spoon to press out all of the liquid from the tea leaves and then discard all the solids.
3. When this cools you can keep it in a jar in the fridge, it should last at least a couple of weeks without spoiling but I try to use mine all in one week.
4. When I make up a cup of chai tea I use 1/4 cup of chai concentrate with half a cup of coconut milk and top up with boiling water and add 1 teaspoon of honey (honey will be far better for you than sugar and the chai will be too bitter without any sweetener). Or use frothy milk for a delicious real chai tea late.
I challenge you to try swapping your morning coffee with chai tea for one month and see how much better you can feel. I say one month not one week because if you happen to have a serious coffee addiction you may have withdrawal symptoms that could make you tired for a few weeks while your body re-adjusts to the lower levels of caffeine.