A L’il Bit of Sugar and a L’il Bit of Spice: How to Find the Best Chai Tea

August 5, 2022

Masala chai is one of the most delicious brews available.

It has just the right amount of sweetness, spice, and black tea to it.

Nevertheless, brewing masala chai from scratch can be a bit of a chore, especially if you are short on time.

It is often far easier to simply but a pre-made version.

Of course, not all brands offer up the same delicious drink.

Thus, if you are looking for the best chai tea, then you have come to the right place.

Here you can find the top brands for your taste buds.

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What You Should Know About Purchasing Pre-Mixed Chai

These are the things that you should be aware of before making your final selection:

Chai vs. Chai Latte

You may have noticed that the terms “chai” and “chai latte” are used interchangeably.

However, are they actually the same?

Well, not really.

Chai refers to masala chai – it is a mix of spices and black tea.

Chai lattes, on the other hand, are Western construct.

Although these drinks do contain spices and black tea, they are typically made with steamed milk and lots of added sugar.

Similarly, the pre-mixed chai lattes tend to be far milkier and be quite a bit sweeter than the original mixes.

delicious cup of chai latte

Types of Pre-Made Chai

Chai tea is available in the following forms:

Loose Leaf Tea Powder

This tends to be the most authentic – and healthiest – option.

This kind of chai consists of loose leaf black tea as well as ground or shredded spices.

You can brew yourself a stronger, more fragrant cup of tea, according to your preference.

It is up to you to use as much milk and tea as you would like.

Tea Bags

Tea bags are a more convenient option.

The tea leaves may be of a lower quality. However, all the tea leaves and ground spices are fitted in the bag.

Once again, you can brew the tea as you choose.


Here, the chai is already brewed for you – along with the milk and sugar.

This means that you simply have to pour out the beverage and it is ready for you to consume.

The downside is that you have to find a type that is well-suited to your tastes.

You may also find that concentrates contain quite a bit of milk and sugar.

Instant Powder

Instant powder isn’t very authentic at all.

The tea here has been ground up so finely that it dissolves in hot water.

The powder can also contain creamer and other ground up spices.

This is more of a sugary treat and may not be suitable for those who are craving a legitimate chai tea.

Tips for Selecting the Best Masala Chai

Now, let’s move onto what you should look for when buying a masala chai mix:

Your Preferred Spices

Masala chai can be made up from many different spices.

The most common additions are cloves, cardamoms, and ginger.

At the same time, it isn’t unusual to find cinnamon, black pepper, and star anise.

Some westernized options even include vanilla.

Thus, your first order of business is to find the best chai mix that is perfectly suited to your preferences.

You are much more likely to enjoy it.

Traditional indian masala chai tea

Pay Attention to Black Tea Quality

If you are buying loose leaf chai or ones in tea bags, then black tea quality matters.  

With loose leaf tea, look for leaves that are long and uncut. If possible, you should also check where the leaves were grown.

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Loose, Bagged, Organic: Find the Best Black Tea on the Market

With tea bags as well, it is best to opt for a higher quality brand.

This way, you don’t have to worry about astringent black tea – instead it will be perfectly balanced with the spices.

Read the Labels

With chai lattes, concentrates, and powders, always read the label.

This is especially important if you want a healthier drink, are watching your sugar intake, or are counting calories.

As mentioned, some brands can add a great deal of milk and sugar, causing the calorie content to skyrocket.

At the same time, it isn’t unusual for manufacturers to include certain additives to improve the taste or lengthen the lifespan of the tea.

The Best Chai Tea Brands

These are the best tasting chai tea mixes that you can buy:

Best Loose Leaf Chai Tea

Vadham Original Masala Chai
23,434 Reviews
Vadham Original Masala Chai
If you are looking for an authentic chai experience, then this is the brand to provide you that.

What We Like:

  • Authentic: made in India according to an old recipe, this is as about as genuine as you can get. So, if you want a cup of chai that is as true to the original as possible, this is it.
  • Large Dried Spices: instead of using powder, Vadham has added full, dried spices. This lends a much more natural and delicious taste to the chai.
  • Stays Fresh: the mix has been packed incredibly well, allowing it to retain its freshness for longer.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Need to Double Up: the recommended serving can be too mild so you will have to double up. Unfortunately this means that the mix may not last as long.
Rishi Masala Chai Tea
1,326 Reviews
Rishi Masala Chai Tea
This is a great, premium chai tea that offers up excellent quality.

What We Like:

  • Good Quality Black Tea: the long loose leaf tea makes for a better brew. Also, the blend of Assam and orange pekoe is an interesting mix as well.
  • High Quality Spices: the spices have been carefully sourced and, as such, offer up a bolder flavor.
  • Organic: the mix is entirely organic, ensuring that your cup of chai is as healthy as possible.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Strong Pepper Taste: this mix does have a strong taste of pepper, but it can be offset when made with milk and sugar.

Best Masala Chai Tea Bags

Teatulia Masala Chai Tea Bags
1,898 Reviews
Teatulia Masala Chai Tea Bags
If you are looking for a high-quality chai experience with tea bags, then this is for you.

What We Like:

  • Whole Leaf Tea: these tea bags contain whole leaf tea while puts them on par with loose leaf chai brands.
  • Chopped Spices: the spices are chopped instead of ground which imparts a much more authentic flavor.
  • High Quality Tea Bags: there are absolutely no micro-plastics in these tea bags making them safe and convenient to enjoy.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Can Be a Bit Mild: this brew may be a bit mild for some so you may need to use two tea bags instead of one.
Twinings of London Chai Tea Bags
93,954 Reviews
Twinings of London Chai Tea Bags
If you are looking for a familiar and more balanced chai, then this will do the trick.

What We Like:

  • Well-Balanced Brew: this is a well-balanced cup of chai, ensuring that the flavors work harmoniously rather competing with each other.
  • Easy to Brew: as long as you follow the instructions, you will find it quite easy to brew a great cup of chai.
  • Affordable: this is an affordable option, particularly if you want to enjoy chai on a regular basis.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Uses Flavorings: this brand does use natural flavorings instead of actual spices. As such, it isn’t very authentic.

Best Chai Tea Latte

Oregon Chai Chai Tea Latte
24,911 Reviews
Oregon Chai Chai Tea Latte
Want a quick and easy treat? Then this is the brand that will work for you.

What We Like:

  • Good Quality Tea: the tea used for this brew is actually quite good. As a result, it comes off as bolder.
  • Tastes Like a Latte: with the vanilla and sweeteners, this tastes like a chai latte rather than a plain old chai brew.
  • Organic: the ingredients are organic, making this is a safer and slightly healthier option to enjoy.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Very Sweet: there is quite a bit of sweetness to this latte and can overpower some of the other spices.

Best Chai Concentrate

Bhakti Chai Concentrate
1,109 Reviews
Bhakti Chai Concentrate
Want a concentrate as close to the real deal as possible? This can help you.

What We Like:

  • Brewed Strong: the tea is actually quite robust which ensures that the addition of milk doesn’t dilute it too much.
  • Natural Ingredients: in addition to the fresh-pressed ginger juice, this concentrate contains other natural spices and ingredients as well.
  • Mild Sweetness: it is only slightly sweet, making it suitable for a wider variety of chai drinkers.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Strong Ginger Flavor: there is a prominent ginger flavor which can overtake the other spices in the chai.

Best Chai Tea Powder

Blue Lotus Chai
6,382 Reviews
Blue Lotus Chai
Looking for a fuss-free yet authentic chai, then you will love what this brand has to offer.

What We Like:

  • Natural Ingredients: all the ingredients are natural. And, despite being finely ground they boast a powerful and pleasant flavor.
  • No Milk: this is one of the few powders not to contain dairy or any kind of creamer. This makes it easier to make your chai healthier or plant-based, depending on your preferences. 
  • No Sugar: there is absolutely no sugar in this tea, allowing you to only add as much as you like. It also makes the brew healthier and lower in calories.

What We Don’t Like:

  • A Bit Peppery: this chai is a bit peppery and make not be a good option if you don’t enjoy the spice.

This concludes your guide to the best chai tea. All that is left to do is pick out the one that seems well-fitted to your palate.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to head to our Pinterest page. It has plenty of other information for all the kinds of tea that you could hope for!

About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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