Chai, which is made with tea, is a damn good substitute for coffee, but does it replicate the same caffeine kick you’d get from a cup of joe? Not at all. While chai made with tea does have caffeine, the levels won’t be nearly as high as your regular coffee.
Is that any reason to stop sipping on this divine brew? Definitely not. And we’re not just saying that because we’re biased. Chai actually comes with benefits that will help improve your clarity and focus for longer than coffee.
How Much Caffeine Does Chai Have?
A chai is made with warm milk, a sweetener, spices, and black tea. And unless you’re getting a specific decaffeinated chai, that black tea contains caffeine. The amount of caffeine you’ll down in one cup varies, depending on a range of factors.
A regular cup of Prana Chai can have anywhere between 20 and 100mg of caffeine, depending on how you prepare the brew. If you reduce the steeping time, you can decrease the caffeine content by 80%.
"Chai lattes" made with powders or concentrates may have less caffeine in them than those made with the spice blend. One cup of chai from the powdered form has 25 to 55mg of caffeine while in the concentrate, it’s more likely to be 30 to 35mg.
Compare that to roughly 120mg in your average cup of coffee and it’s obvious that if you want to be a lively bag of beans, you’ll probably want to stick to those, well, coffee beans.
But it’s not as simple as that. In chai, caffeine interacts with tannin in the tea, and tannin helps to calm the nervous system. It’s a substance that helps your body absorb caffeine much more slowly, so you can get into a calm, focused state without the hyperactivity you get with coffee.
How can you pass on that?!