what is chai tea

Best Chai Tea? Let’s Take a Sip and Find Out!

So what is the best Chai Tea, you ask? Before diving in, let’s first clarify what “Chai “is.

Chai is a delicious and fragrant blend of spices, black tea, and milk and has become popular worldwide for its flavor and supposed ayurvedic properties. 

While there is NO medical evidence to support the necessity of drinking Chai tea to maintain good health, some of the spices it contains have been linked to good heart health and digestion.

best chai tea

Depending on how you brew it, Chai tea can be considered healthy, as the tea blends typically contain no inherent sugars. 

Traditional tea blends will usually contain caffeine and some spices, which should be avoided by pregnant women and those with heart conditions. Please consult with a doctor if you are unsure if certain Chai blends are appropriate for your consumption.

Chai tea can be consumed in many ways. The simplest of these is to drink it black from the tea bag or loose leaf mix and add hot water.

However, for a more nuanced drink, you can make it into a traditional Masala Chai with the tea and spices cooked in a pot with milk, water and honey before being strained to serve. Yum!

Additionally, many baristas are now offering Chai made into a latte with steamed milk added to a Chai concentrate. BEWARE SUGAR! Some of these mixes are incredibly sweet and unhealthy! It’s always best to check what sort of Chai it is when ordering.

So what Chai should I buy? ( I know, it rhymed and was a tad lame, but whatever).

Before You Buy Your Little Chai

When looking for the best Chai tea, we recommend assessing each product carefully. You want to look through the ingredients to make sure it is as pure as possible.

We’ve put together a handy guide below to help you make an informed decision.

Ingredients

A traditional Chai black tea blend is usually based around a standard Assam black tea, which provides a nice strong flavor.

In recent years, green tea, white tea, or Rooibos bases have also become available, providing different flavor profiles too.

The Masala spice blend is also often available on its own, allowing you to make a caffeine-free tea or use it in cooking, if this is your thing.

The spices used in tea blends will vary between products and companies; like some stray away from traditional Indian spices to incorporate flavors such as chocolate or vanilla, making a sweeter blend without honey. 

As a standard Chai tea blends will usually contain the following spices:

  • Cinnamon (can lower blood sugar)
  • Cardamon
  • Cloves
  • Ginger (can impact digestion and lower blood sugar)
  • Star anise
  • Black pepper cloves
  • Fennel (can lower blood pressure)
best chai tea ingredients

How Much Caffeine Does Chai Contain?

As I’m sure you know, black tea is considered the strongest of teas both in flavor and caffeine content. However, due to the popularity of Masala spice blends and increased reluctance around caffeine levels, more blends have become available with minimal caffeine.

These are often based around lighter tea leaves, such as green tea or white tea, or could be a caffeine-free alternative, such as a rooibos base.

It is important to see what the base of each blend is to assess the caffeine levels it will give you.

Ethics of Production

Not all countries have benefited from the global market equally, and you must see that the tea leaves and spices in the blends you buy are ethically sourced.

Many of the products will say where they source their ingredients and how they deal with environmental impacts from their products. 

Brewing methods

As mentioned above, you can drink Chai tea in many forms.

Consequently, you must buy a blend that matches how you want to brew it and the equipment that you have.

A simple Chai tea bag requires only a cup and boiling water, but if you buy loose-leaf tea, you will need to use a tea strainer to brew it.

Similarly, Chai lattes require steamed milk, and Masala Chai needs a pot, strainer, and honey. And a little more time in the morning too.

By considering how you will drink it, you can ensure that the blend you buy is the best choice for your drink.

Let’s dive into our top pics.

Product
Twinings of London Ultra Spice Chai Tea Bags
T2 Tea - Chai Black Tea Bags
Yogi Tea - Classic Chai Cinnamon Spice Loose Leaf
Tiesta Tea - Chai Love Loose Leaf
Good Earth - Sweet Chai of Mine Tea Bags
Image
Twinings Ultra Spice Chai Tea Bags, 20 Count (Pack of 6)
T2 Tea - Chai Black Tea, 25 Teabags in Gift Cube
Yogi Tea - Classic Chai Cinnamon Spice - 90g
Tiesta Tea - Chai Love, Loose Leaf Spiced Chai Black Tea, High Caffeine, Hot & Iced Tea, 4 oz Tin - 50 Cups, Natural Flavored, No Sugar Added, Chai Tea Loose Leaf
Good Earth Sweet & Spicy, Vanilla Chai Black Tea, 18 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)
Price
$22.11
$14.77
$10.11
$10.99
$26.99
Reviews
71,162 Reviews
58 Reviews
75 Reviews
3,426 Reviews
11,743 Reviews
Best For
Budget/ bulk buying
Value
Caffeine free loose leaf spice blend
Value loose leaf
Sweetness
Product
Twinings of London Ultra Spice Chai Tea Bags
Image
Twinings Ultra Spice Chai Tea Bags, 20 Count (Pack of 6)
Price
$22.11
Reviews
71,162 Reviews
Best For
Budget/ bulk buying
Product
T2 Tea - Chai Black Tea Bags
Image
T2 Tea - Chai Black Tea, 25 Teabags in Gift Cube
Price
$14.77
Reviews
58 Reviews
Best For
Value
Product
Yogi Tea - Classic Chai Cinnamon Spice Loose Leaf
Image
Yogi Tea - Classic Chai Cinnamon Spice - 90g
Price
$10.11
Reviews
75 Reviews
Best For
Caffeine free loose leaf spice blend
Product
Tiesta Tea - Chai Love Loose Leaf
Image
Tiesta Tea - Chai Love, Loose Leaf Spiced Chai Black Tea, High Caffeine, Hot & Iced Tea, 4 oz Tin - 50 Cups, Natural Flavored, No Sugar Added, Chai Tea Loose Leaf
Price
$10.99
Reviews
3,426 Reviews
Best For
Value loose leaf
Product
Good Earth - Sweet Chai of Mine Tea Bags
Image
Good Earth Sweet & Spicy, Vanilla Chai Black Tea, 18 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)
Price
$26.99
Reviews
11,743 Reviews
Best For
Sweetness

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases.

Best Chai Tea

Twinings of London Ultra Spice Chai Tea Bags

71,162 Reviews
  • FRESH FLAVOR: Six boxes of 20 Ultra Spice...
  • ONLY THE FINEST QUALITY: Our expert blenders...
  • ULTRA SPICE CHAI TEA: Twinings blends to...

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients:

  • Black tea
  • Natural Chai flavours
  • Natural cinnamon flavours
  • Natural ginger flavours
  • Cardamon
  • Cloves

This black tea blend contains natural ingredients and high-quality leaves from trusted growers around the world.

Available through bulk buying, this is the perfect Chai tea for a budget, and each tea bag is individually wrapped to add convenience and cleanliness.

From a trusted brand that’s been selling tea for over 300 years, Twinings Chai is a great tea to buy for those who want a straightforward and reliable brew.

With a blend of rich and powerful spices, this tea mixes sweet and savory to provide a robust and warming drink.

Twinings Chai mixes the flavors of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger to balance the black tea and create a delicious Masala flavor.

This Chai tea also comes in the fun flavors of pumpkin spice, French vanilla, and spiced apple too.

Pros:

  • Convenient tea bags
  • Bulk buying
  • Budget-friendly
  • A quality blend of black tea and natural spice flavors 

Cons:

  • Lots of packaging
  • Have to open each bag individually

Price: 120 tea bags/ 8.5oz for $29 (around 25c per cup)

T2 Tea – Chai Black Tea Bags

58 Reviews
  • DELIGHTFUL SPICED BLACK TEA - This Chai tea...
  • A TASTY FLAVOR BLEND - This black tea is...
  • COMES IN A CONVENIENT BOX - This Chai black...

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients:

  • Black tea
  • Cloves
  • Cardamon
  • Star anise
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Orange
  • Flavors

A favorite of tea lovers around the world, T2’s classic Chai is a must for anyone looking to get into drinking Chai tea!

This complex and spicy blend is sourced from quality ingredients worldwide and uses experimental blends to find the best flavors.

It is made with biodegradable tea bags and a recyclable cardboard box, making it an environmental choice too.

T2 is a climate-compensated B Corp company, so you know your funds are going to the farmers and growers who earned them.

Keep an eye on this brand, it’s not uncommon for them to drop chocolate and gingersnap Chai flavors too!

Pros:

  • Delicious, quality tea blend
  • Value for money
  • Biodegradable
  • Convenient to use and dispose of
  • Ethical company

Cons:

  • Flavoring
  • Star anise can be a quite strong flavor

Price: 25 tea bags/ 2.3oz for $6.50 (around 26c per cup)

Yogi Tea – Classic Chai Cinnamon Spice Loose Leaf

Sale
75 Reviews
  • German (Publication Language)

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients:

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cardamon
  • Black pepper

Unlike the others on this list, Yogi’s Classic Chai is caffeine-free! How, you might ask? Simple, it contains no tea leaves!

This blend of certified organic spices contains the sweet and savory flavors of a Masala Chai blend without the typical black tea leaves.

This makes the tea a good choice for children, pregnant women, and those who should avoid caffeine for heart-related issues. 

The tea can be boiled and used the same as any other, making it a good choice for evenings when you are relaxing.

This is also a good option for making a ‘dirty Chai’, where a shot of coffee is added to a Chai latte.

Yogi’s Chai is a good value option to keep in the tea cupboard when you cannot drink regular Chai tea. 

Pros:

  • Caffeine-free
  • Certified organic
  • Balanced spice mix
  • Decent value

Cons:

  • Not an actual ‘tea’
  • Loose-leaf (requires a strainer)
  • Ayurvedic claims are NOT medically proven

Price: 3oz for $10 (around 45c per cup)

Tiesta Tea – Chai Love Loose Leaf

3,426 Reviews
  • SPICED CHAI BLACK TEA warms you up from the...
  • PREMIUM LOOSE LEAF TEA BLEND of full,...
  • REUSABLE, RECYCLABLE TEA TIN makes the...

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients:

  • Black tea
  • Ginger
  • Cardamon
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Pink peppercorns 

Made with quality ingredients from around the world, Tiesta Tea offers a slightly more nuanced Chai tea than the others on our list.

It incorporates pink peppercorns into its spice mix for a delicate and sweeter peppery buzz.

The other balanced spices work well to create a delicious and warming drink with the high caffeine kick of black tea.

Tiesta’s Chai is made from all-natural ingredients and comes in an attractive and recyclable tin that can be refilled once you finish your first batch, minimizing waste and packaging.

Not only that, but the company strives to have a positive social impact, currently helping to build wells in Nigerian farming communities.

This Chai is great for the planet and your kitchen shelf aesthetic! 

Pros:

  • More interesting spice palate
  • Reusable tin
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Good value
  • Ethical company

Cons:

  • Loose-leaf (requires a strainer)
  • Not the spiciest blend
  • Need to shake the tin before use

Price: 4oz for $12 (around 24c per cup)

Good Earth – Sweet Chai of Mine Tea Bags

11,743 Reviews
  • Traditional chai spices perfectly infused...
  • Featuring cinnamon, clove, and ginger along...
  • Satisfy both your sweet and spicy sides with...

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients:

  • Black tea
  • Natural cinnamon flavor
  • Natural vanilla flavor 
  • Cardamom 
  • Ginger root 
  • Natural peach flavor 
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Chicory root
  • Licorice root
  • Chinese star anise
  • Black pepper
  • Steviol glycosides (stevia)

This is a much sweeter tea than the others. Good Earth’s Chai incorporates vanilla and maple flavors into its spice blend to provide a tasty and comforting blend.

This is by far the most complex blend on our list, including chicory and licorice root for a deeper flavor, as well as stevia for sugar-free sweetness. 

The company is climate-friendly and dedicated to natural ingredients, making Good Earth’s Chai a guilt-free indulgent choice for those looking to blend sweet and spicy flavors.

Price: 72 tea bags/ 4oz for $30 (around 42c per cup)

Pros:

  • Sweet and spicy
  • Climate conscious 
  • Complex flavor blend
  • Natural ingredients

Cons:

  • Contains stevia
  • It May be too many flavors to balance the spices

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Chai Tea?

Chai tea (or Chai if you prefer) commonly refers to a Masala spice blended tea.

This is an Indian drink where black tea is boiled with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, as well as milk and honey.

In the West, the flavors have been played with, as this drink can be taken as a latte or made ‘dirty’ by a shot of coffee.

Can I Drink Chai Tea Every Day?

Evidence suggests that having black tea each day is good for your heart health, and the spices commonly found in Chai teas won’t hurt if taken daily.

For those who need to avoid caffeine and certain spices, please speak with your doctor before drinking Chai tea.

Having very sugary Chai teas with lots of honey and cream should be avoided, however, as these are not healthy as part of a daily diet.

So, while you can drink it daily, examine your diet and determine the best Chai tea for you.

Is Chai Tea Good For You?

The science is still out on whether or not the spices that make Chai teas special are actually effective treatments.

However, black tea is good for your heart in small doses, and many of the herbs commonly contained have been linked to lowered blood sugar and aiding digestion.

The more sugar you put in Chai tea, the less healthy it will become, so consider making your tea without honey.

Does Drinking Tea Make You Lose Weight?

No tea is a good replacement for food in your diet.

While drinking fluids is important for maintaining body health and the protein from milk in Chai tea will help you feel full and healthy, you must enjoy these teas as part of a balanced diet.

For those seeking to improve their body health, drinking the tea black or without honey is a good step to lowering the calories in it.

Black tea also has laxative qualities, which may hinder body health if taken in large quantities. Enjoy everything in moderation. 

Should I Buy Chai Tea Bags or Loose Leaf Tea?

This is really up to you.

You can make a fantastic drink with either, and if you are not a big tea drinker, then buying Chai tea bags rather than investing in a strainer may be the best move for you.

Tea bags often have pieces that have been chopped up smaller, and some people find this softens the flavors slightly.

Don’t stress too much about this factor; you’re better off looking at the flavors for each tea to decide which is the best Chai tea for you. 

Is Chai a Black Tea?

As a literal translation, Chai means black tea. Masala Chai that we drink in Chai teas and lattes is typically made from black tea.

However, tea-free blends and ones made from younger tea leaves have become increasingly popular for those who want less caffeine in their drinks. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Chai Tea

So, what are our overall recommendations?

For those seeking a great teabag at a good price, the best Chai tea is the T2 Chai Tea Bags, as these are quality brew that is great for you and the planet.

For those wanting to invest in loose-leaf tea, the best Chai tea is the Tiesta Tea Chai Love, which provides a great balance of spice in a reusable tin.