A L’il Bit of Sugar and a L’il Bit of Spice: How to Find the Best Chai Tea
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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
Best Masala Chai Tea Bags
Best Chai Tea Latte
Best Chai Concentrate
Best Chai Tea Powder
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.