Cayenne Pepper – The “Spicy” in Sanctuary’s Spicy Chai

Sanctuary Chai Spicy Chai fans rave about the warm spicy heat, especially in the winter. For some, it is bit unusual to have heat in a beverage, and fans often ask what makes the heat and how it is controlled to be so warming, but not burning!

There is an industry wide heat rating system called Scoville Heat Units (SHU) which measures the capsaicin content in the pepper, which is what causes the heat that we taste. Sanctuary Chai uses cayenne pepper with a SHU rating of 90,000, so there is consistency between each small batch brew – which is very important – that gives the chai a consistent and precise heat balance so it’s a warm heat and not burning!

Cayenne pepper has been used in foods and medicine for thousands of years. It’s known to help the digestive system, and has many vitamins and minerals which boost our immune systems – such as Vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, beta carotene, and manganese.

In our years of brewing chai with cayenne pepper, there is one tip we would like to share with those you cooking with peppers – the longer the pepper is cooked and is in your food, the spicier it gets! Sanctuary Chai is brewed slowly to allow all the oils to come out of the spices, so timing is critical. When adding cayenne to, say, your award winning chili, it should be one of the first ingredients to be added, allowing the spice to fully absorb into the batch.

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