With all the delicious spices that add the unique flavour to Prana Chai, the base ingredient can sometimes get forgotten about – tea! But there is way more to this leafy hot drink than that soggy old tea bag floating around in your cup of English Breakfast.
Native to Asia, tea has been drunk in China and Burma for centuries, before being introduced to the western world by the Dutch in the 17th century. Darjeeling tea, green tea, white tea, herbal tea…. It sure sounds like there are a lot of different teas out there. But actually, all tea comes from one plant, Camellia Sinensis. How the tea differs and gets its name is all based on processing techniques.
The colour of the final product is an indicator of the process it goes through – white tea is merely the dried leaves of the plant, while black tea requires the highest level of oxidisation, which gives it its stronger flavour and colour. To tea nerds, herbal and fruit teas are not actually tea, but infusions or tisanes, as they are not derived from the tea plant. On top of all these varieties, there are also flavoured teas such as Earl Grey, which add another step to the process by flavouring the tea.
The Chinese originally drank tea as a medicinal drink, and it has been linked to some pretty impressive health benefits. Tea is full of antioxidants which help in the fight against cancer and aging. Studies have also attributed drinking to preventing cognitive decline and neurodegeneration, and increased heart health. The good news is you don’t even have to have a five cup a day habit to enjoy the benefits. It seems that drinking at least one cup a day can increase the health of your heart!
All of this is good news for us Prana Chai drinkers, as Ceylon tea is the primary ingredient in our #onlythegoodstuff mix. So make yourself up a cup of chai to start enjoying the benefits of this surprising leaf.