Caffeine comes in many forms and strength levels, but coffee and black tea are two of the richest sources. In fact, 1 cup (8 oz) of pure black tea contains 47 mg of caffeine, compared to 1 cup (8 oz) of strong black coffee which contains 96 mg of caffeine.
Black tea is the main ingredient of Chai latte. ‘Chai’ is the Hindi word for ‘tea’; more specifically black tea mixed with milk, or the worldwide version known as Chai latte. When you add spices to the tea, it becomes Masala Chai (‘masala’ meaning ‘spices’).
With the right preparation method, and using high-quality ingredients, you can make your own Chai latte at home that’ll taste so good you’ll never buy one at the store again.
Want to switch things up a bit and get your caffeine fix in a different way? Here’s the ultimate made-from-scratch Chai latte recipe for energy and focus.
What is Masala Chai? History, Origins, and Worldwide Popularity
History and Origins
Masala Chai dates back thousands of years and finds its origins in India. At the time, the chai was prepared with spices and sugar, but there was no tea used in the preparation process. In Ayrvedic medicine, spices were the foundation of healing, so they were used in food, beverages, medications, and cleansing rituals.
In 1835, the British colonizers started setting up tea plantations in Assam, India. Soon, the black tea produced on these plantations became the basis for Masala Chai, and this became a pricy, exclusive beverage.
As time passed, black tea started to become more widespread across India, but it was still expensive. This led people and sellers to add spices, sugar, and milk in an effort to keep the beverage cost to a minimum, yet still offer flavor and mass appeal.
Thus, one of the best black tea types for preparing an authentic Masala Chai is Assam tea. Nowadays, Masala Chai and Chai latte have spread worldwide and are among the most popular coffeehouse drinks.
Homemade vs. Store-Bought Chai Latte
The main and most important difference between a homemade and a store-bought Chai latte is in the quality of the ingredients.
You can make a homemade Chai latte with your favorite milk and spices but you can’t customize a mass-produced latte. Commercial Chai lattes are full of additives to ensure a longer shelf life, but with a homemade latte, you’ll always have a freshly made batch.
Homemade Chai Latte Recipe
This Chai latte recipe is so easy to make, you’ll want to drink it every day - and you can! Simply make a bigger batch, store the extra in the fridge, and you’ll have an iced Chai latte the next day.
- 2 cups of water
- ¼ cup of fresh loose-leaf black, oolong, or Assam tea (you can also use 2 tea bags)
- 1 – ½ cup of milk of choice (you can use nut milk or dairy milk)
- A few drops of pure CBD oil*
- Sweetener of choice (go for honey, agave, or maple syrup to help dissolve the CBD oil)
- Fresh or ground spices of choice (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise, black pepper, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, and vanilla bean)
- Ice cubes (optional)
Bring the water to a boil and add the spices. Whisk to combine. After a few minutes of simmering, add the tea and the milk. Stir everything well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the tea steep for 5-8 minutes. Add the sweetener mixed with CBD oil and stir to dissolve. Strain and serve with sprinkled spices on top.
Sträva Tip: CBD oil is not inherently water-soluble, so in order to get all the nutritive properties and health benefits, it’s best to mix it with a thick-textured sweetener such as honey, agave, or maple syrup.
*Learn more about CBD, what it is, and its many health benefits here.
Try This Chai Latte Recipe From Scratch and Make It Your Own
Making your own coffee and tea beverages from scratch is not only fun, but it’s also healthier for you. You can choose your own clean ingredients instead of the refined sugars, artificial colors and flavors that go in store-bought drinks.
Find more delicious coffee recipes here that you can make any time you need a little pick-me-up or a boost of caffeine and CBD goodness.
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Frosina A. Ivanovic is a content marketing specialist and writer. She’s passionate about quality coffee, travel, wellness, and digital marketing. You can connect with Frosina on LinkedIn or her website, Zhillmatic.