What Does Chai Taste Like? – A Quick Guide to Chai Drinks

Published Categorized as Journal

When visiting almost any coffee shop these days, you will notice a plethora of options and choices for you to order. Among these options, you have the more typical choices such as coffee, latte, espresso, and more. However, you will also see a few options for tea, one of which is chai tea. And if you’ve never tried it, “what does chai tea taste like?” is something you may be asking.

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what does chai taste like

Table of Contents

What is Chai?

Chai” is the Hindu word for “tea” which is initially derived from the Chinese word “cha”.

While it is a common stereotype that England is notorious for its tea consumption, India and China are actually the two most popular countries for tea.

The tea in these countries is slightly more herbal and closer to the origin of tea when compared to other countries and their versions of tea. China and the cha produced there are spiced and will be a mix or a blend of a lot of different spices, steeped in water until the tea is produced.

This is where chai is involved. It is a spiced tea that has gained enough popularity to be sold in the majority of big coffeehouses and restaurants.

As mentioned, chai tea is a spiced mix of black tea with additional spices for flavorings. The flavorings will change if you are wanting a masala chai which is essentially a more flavored version of chai.

The main spices found in chai are;

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Star anise
  • Fennel

These all blend together, with the addition of black tea, to make a warming and hearty drink that is loved by millions globally.

It can be surprisingly easy to make your own homemade chai. That said, the ingredients are going to cost more than it costs to just buy chai teabags.

Chai vs Matcha

While chai is incredibly popular and sold almost globally, it is not the only Asian tea (taro bubble tea, anyone?) that has made its way to the mainstream western market.

Matcha is a very common tea found in Japan. It is made with the same green tea leaves used for normal green tea. The difference is, with matcha tea, the leaf is ground into a fine powder that is dissolved into the water or milk that you are drinking it with.

The taste can be quite bitter, vegetal, and a little weird to the mainstream tongue. But matcha has quite a lot of health benefits that make it popular in the US. The bright green color it is associated with is due to the tea leaves’ high chlorophyll content. This makes the powder and drinks an incredibly vibrant green color.

white ceramic teacup filled of matcha tea

Chai Boba Tea

While chai tea is incredibly popular, there are always going to be different kinds of it that appeal to different groups and demographics.

One of these variations is known as boba tea or bubble tea.

Bubble tea is famed for being an enjoyable experience where there is a liquid, sweet, fruity, or tea-like, with pearls at the bottom. Sometimes these pearls are filled with a flavored juice that can explode when you bite them. Although the most popular type is tapioca pearls as they are chewy and sweet.

Chai boba is usually served with tapioca pearls as they compliment the spiced nature of the tea. The straw is big enough for the pearls to come through so you can drink it easily while on the go.

There are not typically much more nutrients or flavors in these drinks. But the addition of pearls has made them a lot more popular than people would have guessed.

What Does Chai Taste Like? – Your Guide To Different Chai Drinks

Chai Tea Latte

Latte has been around for a long time in the mainstream market. It’s popular because frothed milk is added to a drink. It makes the drink taste nicer and feel nicer while you drink it.

This has been done for chai tea and works very well. Chai tea latte is very similar to chai tea, yet it has more milk in it than is usually put into tea.

Chai tea can be served cold or hot. When served cold, it is a nice refreshing drink. However, when chai tea is served hot it is a warming and hearty drink that makes you feel warm and safe.

What Does Chai Tea Taste Like?

Chai tea tastes like a mix of different spices. This flavor is very likely to change based on what spices are used and in what ratio.

The most common spices used as cinnamon, star anise, fennel, and cloves. There is also cardamom used. A lot of people can confuse this for vanilla, as they are both sweet and floral.

Chai-Flavored Treats

While you might not expect it, there are quite a few treats made that are flavored similarly to chai. This is popular for matcha too as the powder can be used to flavor brownies, cakes, cookies, and more.

Chai, however, is slightly less popular and is typically made into bread or cake as spiced cakes are nice. The spiced flavor of the tea would not be the best fit for something such as a donut or cookie.

What Does Chai Taste Like? – Your Guide To Different Chai Drinks

FAQs on Chai Tea

Does chai tea taste like cinnamon?

Chai tea does taste like cinnamon. This is because, in the spice mix used for the flavoring of chai tea, cinnamon is used. It is a very popular spice and it is rare that you will find a chai tea without cinnamon in it.

Does chai taste like vanilla?

Chai tea can sometimes give people a hint of vanilla. This is odd as there is no vanilla used in the recipe or spice mix unless it is stated that it is a vanilla chai tea. The use of the ingredient cardamom can sometimes be confused with vanilla as they are both sweet and floral.

What flavor is chai tea?

Chai tea is a tea made from black tea leaves and a spice mix. The flavor itself will change and vary depending on what spices have been used and in what ratio they were used in.

Published
Categorized as Journal

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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