Chai is a popular spiced, milky tea consumed worldwide, especially in India, where it originated. Like how coffee has become a daily ritual for many, Chai is an equally common morning drink for people looking for a balanced dose of caffeine with a unique aroma and taste.
On the other hand there are some questions that have been on the lips of chai drinkers for several years now. Serving sizes, sugar content, and calorie counts have all been debated – and the answer isn't as simple as you might think.
So, how many calories in Chai? In this post, we explore the caloric content of this tasty hot beverage and give you some tips on how to make your healthy version!
How Many Calories Does Chai Have?
Does your morning cup of Chai have as many calories as a cheeseburger? The answer is no, but depending on how you make it, the calories change.
The Chai blend generally contains a combination of tea leaves, spices and other herbs, which doesn't really add to the calories in chai.
The herbs and spices that comprise a typical chai blend - cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and more have an extremely low calorie count, typically negligible. The ingredients balance those calories with the outstanding health benefits (and taste). It’s pretty clear to us that it’s worth it.
For instance, Monk's Organic Specialty Chai has only 46 calories in a single serving which is quite low compared to the calories in a vanilla chai latte from multinational coffee houses or any other store bought ones
However, the chai blend you use is just one component; flavoring it with milk and sweetener is the real kicker. When Chai lovers add sugar, honey, or syrup to tea, the calories start to rack up.
How many calories in a cup of chai also depends greatly on the type of milk in the tea and its quantity!
Chai tea contains about 200 calories per cup when served with whole milk. That's the same amount of calories found in a 12-ounce can of soda.
However, Chai prepared with soy milk contains 180 calories per cup. If you're watching your waistline, try ordering your Chai with skim milk for just 160 calories per cup. Still looking for a lower calorie option? Prepare your tea with homemade oat milk without sugar because a 12oz serving of oat milk tea contains only 45 calories.
Here are a few tips to keep those calories low:
- Use nonfat, nut or soy milk to reduce fat content.
- Add a hint of natural sweetener like honey for additional flavor and fewer calories.
- Even if you want to add sugar, go easy on that and use alternatives like zero calorie Erythritol
There is something else you must know if you are worried about the calories in a cup of Chai. Most beverages referred to as Chai latte, be it a skinny chai latte or almond milk chai latte are prepared with instant power blend.
These instant powder blends are generally high in calories and only a single serving of these drinks can take up a significant portion of your desired caloric intake.
You can always ask the barista what kind of products they are using to prepare the chai latte next time you are ordering your spiced chai latte, whether they are preparing it from a high calorie powder or using whole spices and tea.
If you are a calorie-conscious person, one great way is to prepare your Chai at your home. This way, you have complete control over how many calories your Chai will contain.
Whether preparing a dirty chai latte at home or an iced chai latte, you can easily switch to healthier alternatives. Use skim milk and a healthy dose of100% organic, plant-based, and gluten-free Monk's Organic Specialty Chai for a flavorful cup of low calorie tea.
How to count calories in Chai?
Chai is praised for its health benefits, but that doesn't mean you can just pour as much sugar or honey into it as you want as it will increase its calories.
If questions like “how many calories in a chai latte” or “how much sugar in chai latte” pops up in your mind, simply read the product's label to know the nutritional value.
Suppose you are making it yourself; it's very simple to calculate it. Add the calorie count of each ingredient according to the quantity you include in it. A basic breakdown is as follows.
- Calculate the amount of milk included and always pay attention to the % of fat. Generally, one cup (244g) of 3.25% fat milk, i.e., whole milk, contains 148 calories. A nonfat milk serving of the same size has 83 calories. The lower the fat percentage, the lower the calories. Non Dairy milk like almond milk and oat milk are also low-calorie alternatives with only 60 and 120 calories, respectively, in an 8 oz serving.
- Add the number of calories in the serving of chai blend or tea used.
- If you like the tea a little sweet and want to add sugar or another sweetener, add their calories to the total sum as well. As a rule of thumb, 1 tsp. of sugar has 20 calories.
Is Chai healthy for weight loss?
Drinking chai can be a boon for your health — if you're careful and don't ruin it with tons of sugar and cream! Chai is a multi-purpose beverage that can greatly influence your weight, depending on what you add to the mix.
Underneath its amazing taste and smell lie much more. It's also loaded with antioxidants that can speed up your metabolism.
The milk you use can deliver some protein that reduces appetite. It also makes you feel fuller for longer, which means fewer trips to the pantry when that afternoon slump hits! For that reason, Chai is a good choice when you're feeling hungry.
Just make sure you're mixing your Chai with a skim milk, or even better try a plant-based milk, and less sugar because whole milk contains almost twice as many calories per cup.
Now that you know how many calories in Chai, it's time to grab your favorite mug and get brewing. But before you do so, be sure to check out Monk's Organic Specialty Chai. It is made with 100% organic ingredients, so it's great for vegans or anyone else who is health-conscious. Now you can have a cup of classic healthy chai tea in the comfort of your own home!