Me, Myself, and Chai

Me, Myself, and Chai

Summer is drawing to an end, and the nights are gradually getting chillier; a soft promise of autumn coming around the bend. If you’re anything like me, you may have been hastily begging for this change since May, but the good news is that it’s nearly upon us! I find the colder months make us more appreciative of the simpler comforts of home and thankful for those that we have. One of my favorites of these little comforts and pleasures is the abundance of seasonal spices in drinks and foods so readily available everywhere I go. Pumpkin spice lattes are one to mention for sure, but chai is one that faithfully hangs around all year long, but definitely tastes better in the fall.


Besides being tasty beyond reason, chai has an abundance of health benefits and is rich in history.


What is Chai?:


The word ‘chai’ translates to the Hindi word for ‘tea’. The origins of chai date back to 5,000-9,000 years ago when it was used for the medicinal practice of Ayurveda. This common practice involved using blends of herbs and spices to cure aliments. Traditional Masala Chai or ‘spiced tea’ is a black tea, rich in your favorite autumn spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.


The Health Benefits of Masala Chai:


Legend says that long ago in ancient India, a very wealthy king fell very ill. He called upon his wisest sages to make him well again, so together they concocted a powerful healing brew of their best spices and herbs. This drink came to be known as chai; however, the addition of black tea came far later in the 1800’s during the British rule over India.


With all it encompasses, masala chai remains the perfect morning concoction of health benefiting properties to begin your day. Here’s just a few to mention...




I single cup of black loose-leaf tea, like masala chai, contains about half the amount you can expect from an equal sized cup of coffee. Conditioning your body to lower caffeine intake can help decrease any jittery side effects that can come from drinking coffee in abundance. Camillia Sinensis, the plant that common teas come from, also contains I-theanine. This compound is known to reduce anxiety and combined with the more moderate amount of caffeine present in black tea, you’ll likely feel far more alert and ready for your day, rather and buzzed.


Heart Health:


The black tea in masala chai is also rich in flavonoids that can help reduce stress on the heart by preventing plaque buildup in the arteries. The cinnamon in masala chai has been used for various health treatments presumedly since 2,000 BC and firstly by the ancient Egyptians. In more recent years it has shown to be very effective at lowering overall cholesterol and treating cardiovascular diseases.  


Gut Health:


Bringing this around full circle, masala chai is perfect pairing with your daily Ele Probiotic bite, because it also offers a very helpful hand in your regulating your gut health. Black tea, ginger, and cardamum all have amazing anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that work in tandem to create a healthier ecosystem in your digestive system and gut.



How to enjoy your morning chai:


Loose leaf:


If you prefer your tea simple and only sometimes sweet, brewing chai tea at home is very easy. You’ll only need the following...


  • Warm water
  • A tea sachet or tea egg of your chai blend of choice
  • Your favorite mug


Simply let your tea steep in the warm water for the recommended time for all black teas (approximately 3-5 minutes).


From there, your chai is ready for your sipping! I personally like to add a touch of milk and honey to mine to make things interesting.


Chai Latte:


You’ve likely seen this drink on most if not all menus in your local coffee shops. A chai latte is simply just a sweetened chai concentrate mixed half and half with your milk of choice. It’s favorite among many and can be served bot hot and cold.


You can easily find premade mixed of the chai concentrate in the coffee and tea aisles of many grocery stores for you to whip yourself up a glass at home but making it yourself is also quick and easy if you’d like to switch up the kinds and amounts of sweeteners and spices.


Here’s a fun and easy recipe to try...



12 crushed cardamom pods

5 cinnamon sticks

8 black peppercorns

10 cloves

1 medium piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 vanilla bean, sliced down the center

2.5 cups of water

2 star anise

1/2 tsp allspice

2 tbsp coconut sugar or honey (to taste)

1/4 tsp nutmeg

5 black tea bags

Small saucepan


Resealable glass jar



Step 1.

 Add all ingredients but the tea bags to the sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.


Step 2.

After 15 minutes, shut off the heat and add the tea bags to the pot. Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes.


Step 3.

 Strain the liquid into the glass container and allow to cool completely before covering and refrigerating. Use within seven days.


To make hot masala chai, combine equal amounts concentrate and any type of milk in a small saucepan and heat on medium until simmering. Transfer to a mug and enjoy. For iced, combine equal parts concentrate and preferred milk over ice.