Chai question


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Chai question

Postby laine » Sep 3rd, '10, 22:06

Hello!

I am new to the forums - just discovered them, actually :)

I have a very novice question, I'm sure (I hope black tea is even the right forum for chai!).

I had a .... strong experience with a Starbucks Chai tea years ago (probably approaching 10). I was absolutely jittery and could hardly even think for hours. Though, I admit I LOVED the flavor, it has made me terrified to drink chai tea. I did have a teabag of some decaf chai at a friend's house recently, and that went rather well.

So, my question :D .... does chai tea inherently have overloads of caffine, or do you think that was more of a particular variety or preparation issue?

Thanks for any insight you might have for me!

Laine
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Re: Chai question

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 3rd, '10, 22:57

Chai is a mixture of tea and spices, so it doesn't have any more caffeine than plain tea. If you brew it yourself, you can make it as strong or as weak as you want.

Actually, Starbucks chai is made from a concentrated chai-flavored syrup...hopefully the syrup was made from tea and spices, but you never really know what they put in there. Another reason to make it yourself.
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Re: Chai question

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 3rd, '10, 23:16

By the way, if you want to make tasty chai at home, here's a recipe that I make pretty often in the winter. This tastes a lot better than steeping a pre-mixed teabag in water:

Boil some cloves and green cardamom pods (maybe 10 of each), 1 broken-up cinnamon stick, and maybe a few ginger pieces in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes. Then pour in 1 cup of milk. When it boils again, turn off the heat add 3 spoonfuls of strong black tea (like Assam; a cheap kind is actually the best). After a few minutes, strain the whole mixture.

You can make a lot of it at once and keep it in the refrigerator to re-heat whenever you want.
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Re: Chai question

Postby bagua7 » Sep 7th, '10, 02:34

The only non-Chinese tea I drink is "Byron Chai." I have it down the coast in a small cafe when I hang out with my friends and it's very nice.

You can order it from here:

http://www.byronchai.com.au/cgi/products.php

I reckon that amongst the spices they add a bit of "hash" because that chai makes you smile, lol. :mrgreen:

IMO, I would stay away from teas served at a chain-style business.
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Re: Chai question

Postby Kunkali » Sep 8th, '10, 02:49

The chai I make uses a black assam from mighty leaf, cinnamon stick, coriander, cloves, cardamom pods, fennel, and nutmeg.

I put the cinnamon stick, coriander, 4 crushed cardamom pods, 3 whole cloves, and a few teaspoons of whole fennel seeds into 16 oz of water. Bring the water and spices to a boil, put a lid on the pot and take it off the heat, then steep those spices in the water for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes put pot back on the heat and bring to boil. Add 2 rounded teaspoons of Assam leaf to the boiling water (you can use a half teaspoon more if you want), take the pot off the heat, cover it and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain it into a large cup, and some nutmeg to taste, some maple syrup to taste, and just about a few thimble fulls of whole milk.

Oh btw I crush the cinnamon stick to in order to give it more surface area the coriander is powdered but if I had whole on hand I would grind it in a mortar and pestle.
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Re: Chai question

Postby RaynBeatle » Sep 10th, '10, 13:34

It's a black tea(most of the time and in Starbuck's case it is) and it usually has a great amount of caffeine but they also use syrups and sugars so it could have been a sugar high mixed with caffeine.
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Re: Chai question

Postby Komsip » Sep 13th, '10, 03:16

I guess a reason that masala chai can have more caffeine is simply because often it's overbrewed and overdosed, but then you put so much spices, milk and sugar into it that the overbrew actually tastes like good brew.

If you would just brew it like when you brew a cup of plain tea, then the tea flavor would be lost among all the spices and sugar, but yes, it can give you a kind of caffeine overdose if you drink a lot, that will make you feel bad for a short while, luckily caffeine is a short lasting drug.
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