Sweet and spicy—that’s what a cup of chai tea tastes like. Many people love this drink as an alternative to coffee.
If you're one of them or just curious about chai tea, you're probably wondering how much caffeine it contains.
From popular chai tea brands to chai concentrates, I'll discuss the caffeine content and other things you need to know about chai tea.
Chai Tea Unveiled: Unlock the Caffeine Secrets in Every Sip!
Chai teas are traditionally made with black tea leaves, which is the source of its caffeine. In general, a cup of traditional chai tea (8 fl. oz) contains 30 to 60 milligrams of caffeine.
The exact amount depends on the type of black tea used and the brand of the tea.
However, some chai teas are made with a different tea, like green chai. This type contains green tea leaves, which usually have less caffeine than black tea.
That's why green chai only contains about 20 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per cup (8 fl. oz.), depending on the brand and type.
And then there’s rooibos chai tea. It’s a traditional South African brew and aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.
The herbal and rooibos teas don't contain any caffeine, which means rooibos chai tea and any other herbal teas.
Of course, let's not forget chai tea concentrate and chai powder. These often contain black tea, but the content will vary depending on the brand.
Generally speaking, these contain 25 to 55 mg of caffeine.
Now that you know the caffeine level of these different types of chai tea, let’s talk about the caffeine content of popular chai tea brands.
Tazo Chai Tea
Tazo is one of the most popular tea manufacturers in the world. It used to be owned by Starbucks until the company sold it to Unilever in 2017.
Tazo offers five different types of chai tea, each with its own caffeine level.
The first variant is the Regenerative Organic Chai Tea Bags, which are made with black tea and cinnamon and contain 31 to 45 mg of caffeine per serving of 8 fl. Oz.
The same serving of Classic Chai and Organic Chai have the same amount of caffeine.
The only difference between these two variants over the Regenerative Organic Chai Tea Bags is their ingredients.
Instead of just black tea and cinnamon, these two also have cardamom and ginger.
Another variant is the Vanilla Caramel Chai, made of black tea, cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla. This variant has the same amount of caffeine, just like the rest.
The only Tazo chai tea with a different caffeine level is the Organic Chai latte, which has 46 to 55 mg of caffeine.
Twinings Chai Tea
This is another leading tea manufacturer. It offers a wide variety of teas, including chai tea. This brand offers a traditional black tea chai, which means other variants of this chai tea have caffeine.
In general, Twinings chai tea contains about 30 to 58 milligrams of caffeine in an 8 fl. oz. cup, depending on the variants.
Apart from the traditional chai tea, Twinings also offer Pumpkin Spice, Spiced Apple, French Vanilla, and decaffeinated chai tea.
The flavored variants have caffeine content similar to traditional chai tea, while the decaf version contains 4 mg or less of caffeine per cup.
Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea
If you love chai teas with a twist, Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea is probably one of your favorites. As its name implies, this chai tea contains vanilla on top of the usual Indian spices and black tea leaves.
However, the added vanilla doesn't impact the caffeine content of this chai tea.
Since it’s made with black tea, its caffeine content is similar to traditional chai tea, which is 30 to 60 mg of caffeine per cup.
Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea
Are you into healthy chai drinks? If so, Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea is the chai latte for you.
Unlike other chai tea brands, this drink is made with green tea, which contains less caffeine.
So, a serving of 8 fl. oz. contains 20 to 50 milligrams of caffeine.
Note that this brand comes in three sizes: 15.2 oz, 32 oz, and 52 oz.
If you want the exact amount of caffeine in each size, simply divide the size from the standard cup measurement and multiply it by the average caffeine content of green chai. You're welcome.
Chai Tea Unmasked: Mysteries Of This Exotic Brew!
Chai tea is one of the most popular teas.
According to the legends, chai tea originated back more than 5,000 years ago, thanks to a king in what we now know as India who instructed his people to create a healing spiced beverage.
This drink will be used in Ayurveda, a traditional medicinal practice using herbs and spices.
The resulting drink contains fresh ginger and black pepper, which is believed to be good for digestion, boosts energy, is good for skin, and can help reduce inflammation.
It also has cloves which have antiseptic properties and can also help relieve pain, cinnamon for blood circulation and respiratory function, and star anise for fresher breath.
Of course, all of those are just urban legends, with some backed by science, but I will get to them in the next section.
So, as this beverage became famous all over India, a wide variety of spices were used to prepare it, depending on the location or the neighborhood it is being made.
The original unique blend doesn't contain any black teas. The sugar and milk of this drink were also added in the later years, and we can thank the British for that.
Now, chai tea has many names; you may find a tea varietal called masala chai or spiced tea.
Regarding ingredients, a chai tea cup varies greatly depending on the brand and origin. The original chai blends call for ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, and star anise.
However, others use a tea blend, which is different types of tea (black tea, green tea, white tea, herbal tea, etc.) and the original spices or other spices.
Besides the different blends, masala chai tea has another popular version--the chai latte. Many of you probably think that chai tea and chai latte are the same, but they're not.
Chai tea is a loose-leaf tea brewed in warm milk, while chai lattes use chai concentrate or chai syrups, which are a lot sweeter than chai tea.
On top of that, chai tea lattes are often made with steamed milk and are often served hot in cafes.
While there are some iced chai lattes, the ice often waters down the intense flavor, making it less flavorful than the hot version.
However, if you find the spices in the chai latte drinks too overwhelming, the iced version is for you.
So, technically, chai tea is brewed tea, and a chai tea latte is a chai-flavored beverage.
Since most teas have caffeine, most versions of masala chai tea have a caffeine kick, but less than what you get from regular coffee beans.
There are also caffeine-free versions, which have significantly less caffeine.
Discover the Superpowers of Chai Tea
Do you know that drinking a cup of delicious chai has many health benefits? Apart from being an Ayurvedic medicine, chai tea has been proven to improve your health. Let’s check it out:
Aid In Weight Loss
Chai tea often contains cow’s milk and soy milk, which are high in proteins. Protein is a nutrient that can help promote feelings of fullness, which can reduce hunger.
That's why it's a perfect morning cup, especially for people watching their weight.
Like coffee, chai tea has energizing properties thanks to its caffeine content.
However, even the variant with the highest caffeine content, the black chai tea, can’t compete with the energy boost other caffeinated beverages, like coffee and energy drink, give.
So if you want a pick-me-up drink in the afternoon that won’t ruin your sleep schedule, drink chai tea instead of drinks with too much caffeine.
Some types of chai tea contain L-Theanine, an amino acid that can help alleviate stress and promote relaxation.
It also contains other compounds that can help relax the central nervous system, which can help improve your mood. This is especially true with no-caffeine chai tea that has herbal infusions.
Additional Health Benefits
The spices used in chai, like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and star anise, are known to provide different health benefits, such as helping improve cognitive function and digestion.
On top of that, ginger soothes sore throats, which makes chai tea good for when you're feeling a little bit under the weather.
Do note that drinking large amounts of too much chai tea with high levels of caffeine can have negative effects on your body, such as dehydration.
Be sure to stay hydrated if you plan on drinking so much caffeine.
For those watching their caffeine intake, if you drink plenty of caffeine-free cups of chai, you might consume more caffeine than you think.
Remember, decaf chai tea still has trace amounts of caffeine.
Decode The Factors That Influence Chai Tea Caffeine Levels
Unlike coffee which has several factors affecting its caffeine content, chai tea has only one: the tea leaves.
Most of the time, chai tea contains black tea, which has the highest caffeine among all types of teas.
Other types contain green tea and herbal tea. Apart from caffeine, the type of tea leaves in a chai tea can affect the flavors of the cup.
If you’re very careful with your caffeine intake, it’s best to make your own chai tea blend. This can help you monitor your caffeine levels easily, and making chai tea is really simple.
Caffeine Levels In Chai Tea Versus Other Beverages
So how does chai tea compare with other caffeinated drinks? Let’s find out:
Chai Tea Vs Coffee
An average cup (8 fl. oz.) of chai tea has a caffeine range of 0 to 60 mg, depending on the type. On the other hand, a regular cup of brewed coffee contains 96 mg of caffeine.
That’s why it’s best to stick with chai tea instead of coffee if you're sensitive to caffeine.
Chai Tea Vs Green Tea
Chai tea can be made from different types of tea, like green tea. However, most variants you find are made with black tea. So how do the black and green chai compare with green tea?
A typical cup (8 fl. oz) of green tea has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of green chai, which is 20 to 50 mg.
Black chai tea, on the other hand, has more caffeine than green tea, with 30 to 60 mg per cup.
Chai Tea Vs Black Tea
Traditional black chai tea contains the same amount of caffeine as black tea. However, green chai has less caffeine than black tea.
Common Chai Tea Caffeine Content Questions
How much caffeine is in a Starbucks chai tea latte?
A Starbucks grande (16 fl. oz.) cup of Chai latte contains 95 mg of caffeine.
How much caffeine is in a chai tea K-cup?
A chai tea K-Cup has low caffeine levels, with less than 10 mg per serving.
How much chai is safe to drink?
Around 3-4 cups are safe. Even though you can consume up to 400 grams of caffeine per day, you don't have to reach your limit. However, if you're drinking a caffeine-free cup of chai tea, you can drink as much as you want. Just watch out if you're lactose or soy intolerant.
Does chai syrup have caffeine in it?
Most chai syrups don't have caffeine. This is because this type of chai is mainly made of sugar and spices rather than tea leaves.
If you want the perfect balance of sweet, creamy, and spicy, a delicious cup of chai in the morning is for you. Apart from its unique flavor, this flavorful drink also contains less caffeine than coffee.
So, if you're caffeine sensitive, this is a great alternative to highly caffeinated drinks.