February 24 2022 – Diana L
Don't you just love it when an answer to your question starts with "it depends..."?
So...does chai tea have caffeine?
Depending on the type of tea used as the base, chai may or may not have caffeine. Since variety is the spice of life, Tealeavz offers chai tea using a variety of base teas giving you a choice on the level of caffeine you are after. Traditional chai uses black tea and will have the most caffeine of the chai teas. But chai tea is also available in green tea chai, herbal chai, and rooibos chai.
Whether chai tea has caffeine really depends on the type of loose leaf tea used as its base.
If your day needs to start with a boost, then we recommend Chocolate Chai, Green Chai Tea, Masala Chai, or Apple Spice Chai. All three of these start with either black tea leaves or green tea leaves as a base, both of which are caffeinated.
Another highly-caffeinated chai is our Maharaja Chai Oolong which uses Oolong tea as the base. Oolong falls in between green and black tea. It comes from the same Camellia sinensis plant as black and green tea, but it is processed differently.
If you are interested in a tea that you can unwind with at night, look for a rooibos chai. Dancing Vanilla Bean Chai tea uses rooibos as a base, making it a naturally caffeine-free cup of chai. Our herbal Turmeric Chai is also caffeine-free starting with a turmeric base which creates a smooth and mild chai.
White chai teas are delicious on their own, and also blend well with other teas.
White Chai Spice has a low level of caffeine. White Chai tea blends white tea, ginger root, lemongrass, cinnamon bark, pineapple pieces, cloves, dried coconut, cardamom, red peppercorn, and apple pieces. Yum. A perfect cup of chai tea for warmer days.
Anytime you blend a tea with other ingredients, the caffeine is reduced compared to what it would be in an all-black, all-green, or even all-white tea. This is due to the simple fact that there is just less actual tea included in your scoop.
White Ayurvedic tea is also low on the caffeine scale but blends deliciously with Samurai Spirit Maté if you are looking to get a boost of caffeine. In my book any time you start blending cinnamon bark, ginger root, cardamom, orange peels, lemongrass, aniseed, almond, papaya, mango, and pineapple with White Ayurvedic tea, black peppercorn, cloves, and dried coconut you're bound to have a heavenly cup.
Masala means "a blend of spices". So Masala chai is simply a spiced tea and is often served with milk. Our Masala Chai uses a strong, rich, Ceylon black tea as the base, which is robust enough to balance with all the flavorful Indian spices such as clove, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon.
Also remember, that steeping tea for a longer time will infuse more caffeine out of the tea leaves.
To find out the amount of caffeine in your typical cup of chai, let's take a look at the following tea leaves and preparation methods:
Traditional Black chai - An 8-ounce cup of chai has 60 mg of caffeine compared to 120 mg in a cup of coffee. With its relatively high caffeine level, it's a great choice for that morning energy boost.
Rooibos chai – Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, so this is the cup to reach for at night. A cup of Cinnamon Rooibos Chai tea is perfect nighttime cup for cinnamon lovers.
Herbal chai - Remember herbal does not always mean caffeine-free. Turmeric Chai is an herbal chai that is caffeine-free, but Samurai Chai is also considered an herbal tea with a high level of caffeine content coming from the Yerba Maté.
Green chai – An 8-ounce cup of green chai has 30-50 mg of caffeine. Being slightly lower than black chai means it is suitable for a late morning/early afternoon pick-me-up, but if you are sensitive to caffeine at night, this one should be avoided before bed.
Chai tea lattes – Chai lattes are simply chai tea blended with frothed milk. It is a popular way to enjoy chai tea and can be made with any chai. The caffeine will be determined by the type of chai you choose.
Full-flavored, spicier chai flavors typically lend themselves better to a tasty latte. But remember, adding the frothed milk will not reduce the caffeine in chai, it will simply dilute the tea a bit. There will be just as much caffeine in the cup overall.
"Convenience" Chai - Chai is also available in powder, chai tea concentrate, and syrup form making it easy to whip up a quick latte. The caffeine levels of chai powder are typically between 25–55 mg, and chai concentrate falls in the same range between 30-35 mg of caffeine. Chai syrups are often caffeine-free, but it's always a good idea to check the label.
With all this in mind, the options you have with chai tea mean day or night, it's always time for a good cup of chai.