What most of the people know within the Western world as organic chai tea is named “masala chai” within the Eastern world. Whatever you call it, this tea features a history as full as its flavor. Chai may be a milky tea with flavorful spices that are added.
This creamy milk-like tea was first mentioned in recorded history some 5,100 years ago. A royal king is believed to possess discovered organic chai tea. He used it to cure many various ailments, and as word spread of this tea’s healing properties, more and more people across began drinking it. Chai became more and more popular in the USA as people started to drink it on a day to day to enhance their health.
This tea was thought of as a cure for several different diseases. When the seasons would change, farmers would experiment by adding different spices to the present milky tea. They might also prepare it hot and cold. Over time, more and more sorts of chai tea were created.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and peppermint are just a couple of the normal spices added to organic chai tea. Modern spices that were later added by the Western world include vanilla, cocoa, almonds, and licorice. Sweeteners were also added like molasses, sugar, cane sugar, and honey. The various different spice and sugar combinations give this tea its slightly golden color.
What is Organic Chai Tea? Your Best Friend! [Updated 2020]
Although organic chai tea may not be all that popular in countries like the US and Canada, it has a vibrant history around the world. The name “chai” finds its origins in the Hindi language, and means tea. Chai was initially borrowed from the word “cha,” which is Chinese for tea. Different from its Chinese origins, chai is a term that refers to a mix of spices that come together to form a tea-like beverage.
The recipe for chai will vary across countries, towns, cultures, and even families. However, the traditional ingredients are likely to remain the same. These conventional ingredients include healthy aromatic spices like cloves, ginger, black peppercorn, cinnamon, cardamom, and of course, organic tea.
Most traditional cultures prefer to have the organic chai tea brewed alongside milk, and according to preference, sweetened with honey or sugar. Unfortunately, the organic chai tea that you are going to order from a regular coffee place, will not have much in common with its Indian origins.
The ancient origins
Although there is no exact knowledge on the origin of organic chai tea, legends point to it being more than 5000 years old. It is widely believed that the king of modern-day India, ordered a spiced beverage with healing properties, to be used in Ayurveda. Ayurveda was an ancient medical practice that required the use of spices and herbs for healing rituals, and chai tea benefits seemed to fit the bill just right.
The idea was that the heat from black peppers and gingers would stimulate digestion, cloves with its antiseptic properties would help relieve pain. Cardamom, on the other hand, was seen as a mood raiser when consumed, it was also thought that cinnamon helps respiratory and circulation function. At last, the star anise was used to freshen the breath of those who drank the organic chai tea.
Over time, as the organic chai with its healing properties started to spread across India, people began using a vast array of spices to prepare the beverage. Depending on where the drink was being made, from country to even neighborhoods, many additions were being made.
It is also important to note that the regular tea shops you visit may not offer the authentic organic chai experience, due to the ingredients not being fresh. The ingredients are usually found fresh in places like India and other lush regions.
Did You Know?
The original versions of the famous spiced tea and masala chai did not contain any Camellia sinensis tea leaves, hard to believe, right? The sugar and milk were also additions that were made much later down the line. Even harder to believe is the fact that black tea leaves, sugar, and milk were made to be popular additions thousands of years later.
It was around the year the mid-1800s that the Camellia sinensis assamica tea plant type was discovered in modern-day India. The plant was heavily cultivated by the occupying British, who were ruling the continent at that time. It is no secret that the British have a fierce appetite for black tea, which is strong in taste, coupled with sugar and milk, who would have thought?