From the bustling marketplaces of India where baskets of exotic seeds and fragrant spices are traded comes the warm and wonderful cup of chai. Traditional chai brings steamy, creamy richness and spicy aromatics to the humble black tea brew, dressing it up into a mysterious blend of cinnamon, spice and all things nice.
A cup of chai typically contains sweet spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and black peppercorns. Some chai spices also include fennel and star anise.
This fragrant and sweetly spiced loose black tea is traditionally brewed in milk with honey added, adding to its sensationally creamy fusion of spicy sweetness.
Chai is a black tea, and as such does contain caffeine, albeit a lot less than coffee. The amount of caffeine depends on several factors such as processing of the black tea and the length of time the tea is brewed.
If you seek a caffeine-free chai try our Sticky Honey Rooibos loose leaf tea. This gloriously sticky chai treats you with caffeine-free rooibos and honeybush red tea from South Africa, for a twist on the traditional Indian chai.
If you’re in the mood for a cosy cup of chai, there is no need to boil the kettle. Heat a cup of milk in a saucepan with two teaspoons of the Sticky Honey Rooibos then pour through a chai strainer for a spicy and fragrant red tea hit - minus the caffeine.
The cheerfully complex characteristics of chai are well used to the concept of variety, so chai is happy to be steeped in any type of warm milk. Of course the traditional Indian chai tea recipe uses buffalo milk but without a bevy of buffaloes frolicking on Australian farms it works just as well with cow, soy, almond, rice and even coconut milk.
Our signature chai blend made with black tea and cloves, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon and ginger is a simply sensational sip when a splash of milk and honey are thrown into the mix. Our chocolatey Choc Chip Chai and Go Go Goa are also keen to partner-up with milk and honey.
If you need a little more spice in your love life try Hot Date Chai, an aromatic blend with a choc-chilli twist. Because a long date is always better than a short one, our Hot Date Chai likes to hang around, brewed for 5-7 minutes with temperatures rising! Things getting out of hand? Hot Date Chai will simmer down if you add a splash of milk.
The health benefits of real chai are more about the beneficial properties of the individual herbs and spices than from drinking chai on the whole.
Some studies have indicated that chai may improve heart health and digestion, reduce blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol – mostly thanks to the cinnamon and ginger spices contained within.
It is also believed that ginger and cardamom may aid the digestive process, which in turn may help with weight loss.
Sweetened with a little honey and steeped in low fat milk, a chai latte is certainly not bad for you
Also known as masala chai, chai originated thousands of years ago in India, although some believe there could be ancient Thai connections too. Our Chiang Mai Chai pays homage to chai’s Thai origins, blending fresh and zesty lemongrass with cardamom and a hit of liquorice.
Originally this spicy sweet version of chai was made solely with chai spices and no loose black tea, but with the arrival of the British in the Indian province of Assam, black tea soon made its way into the chai recipe.
At T2 you can lose yourself in the aromatic wonders of our stores, transporting you to the bygone eras of vibrant Indian trading posts. Or, for the 2020 experience, you can shop online and have your stash of favourite chai concoctions delivered to your door. Discover more ways to do chai with our easy recipes and how-to's.