What is a Chai Latte?
Good question? In a nutshell “latte” in Italian is “milk” and in fact if you go to Italy and just ask for a “latte” you will probably just get warm milk. A “cafe latte” then is a “milky coffee” and the same with chai. Except for one seeming small but significant difference!
I went on a search to try and find what is in a chai latte and why they were so sweet. Most cafes are using either a syrup or a powder. Here’s a list of some of the ingredients that I found -
Chai Latte ingredients
Water, Cane Sugar, Natural Flavour, Preservative (E202), Natural Colour (E153), Spice Extracts (<0.5%), Food Acid (E330) Corn Syrup (E220), Emulsifier (E433), dextrose, black tea extract, flavour, milk solids, thickener (415), cinnamon and nutmeg.
This certainly is not exhaustive but it gives you the gist. Sugar was often the first ingredient and very few contained actual spices or any real ingredients. Do you really want this in your body?
Forgive me for saying this but Chai or Masala Chai as it’s called in India (chai means “tea” and masala means “spice”) “should not need this kind of engineering”.
Where Can I find Real Chai?
Perhaps the need for speedy service has bought on the “chai latte” being doctored into a powder or syrup so that they can be pumped out in the same volume as coffee. But now hold up a minute!
You can go into a coffee shop anywhere and you can be sure that the owner has gone to great lengths to source their coffee, store their coffee, grind and/or roast their coffee in a very specific way - not to mention training baristas how to tamp down the grinds and make a perfect cup. In walks a “tea drinker” and what do we get ? A ten cent teabag or a squirt of syrup!!!! We seriously need to up the game. Doesn’t Tea deserve the same time and attention as coffee. As a tea drinker I would love to know that my tea has been given the same thought and attention to brewing as those who prefer coffee! Yes I hear you say!
At iChai2 we use real ingredients - freshly made “real chai”, no extracts, no additives, bold flavours that come from organic spice, raw honey and organic tea.