Most people who come visit at my home are, sooner or later, served freshly brewed Chai Tea. I LOVE Chai Tea, especially richly flavored, spicy Chai. I use to order my chai mix from here, but then one day I thought, “I should try to mix my own!” and the following recipe was the result! I now make it in bulk at the beginning of winter and am always asked about it’s ingredients.
A few things you need to know about this Chai Tea mix:
- I’ve studied herbs for quite some time now and can tell you that while some resources will tell you that Chai consumed in moderation is generally considered safe for pregnancy, I personally would not recommend it. Some ingredients like Cinnamon actually cause contractions and even miscarriages in some women- this is not a risk you should ever take with an unborn child. Other ingredients can also affect yours and your baby’s heart rate and blood pressure, so please, use extreme caution when choosing anything herbal to consume. If you still want to drink Chai- look for red roobious varieties, and check the ingredients. These tend to be a little less potent, but you still need to look at ingredients carefully.
- Depending on how you brew this tea, it can be mild to VERY spicy- this also make an excellent iced tea in the summer- just brew, cool and add ice. You can also make a concentrate to store in the fridge to use throughout the week.
- Feel free to play with the amounts of herbs and spices- I tend to add more cinnamon and ginger and peppercorns because I like the spicyness, but others like the licorice taste of the Star Anise, so they add more of those… It might help to do a few small batches at first to get a feel for what your taste buds like.
To make the mix, you need the following herbs and spices (I purchased all of mine from either amazon.com or The Bulk Herb Store):
Loose Black Tea
Cinnamon sticks or chips (not cassia- get real cinnamon if you can)
Dried and cut ginger root
I start with a base of 2 cups of loose black tea. Then I add 1 1/2 cups of dried ginger root. 1 cup allspice, 1 cup peppercorns, 1 cup cloves.
1/2 cup slightly crushed cardamom pods. I put them in a ziploc bag and give them a couple of good whacks.
Do the same thing with your cinnamon sticks (I like lots of cinnamon, I used about 12 sticks) – it actually might be easier just to buy the cinnamon chips– it took me FOREVER to pound these in to small pieces!
Mix it all together really well.
If you like the licorice flavor of Star Anise, add some now. I added about 26 of them, but I have heard of people adding up to 65!
Get your tea kettle going.
Scoop some of your mix into a container.
And some into your brewing basket.
Pour boiling water over the mix and steep.
I let mine steep about 15 minutes, pour myself about 3/4 cup, add cream and sweetener to taste.
OR- you can bring some milk and water to a boil, add a few tblsp. of your mix and boil it for a couple minutes on the stove for a spicier brew. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a few, strain and serve with sweetener of choice.
Enjoy your yummy Chai!
I store the remaining mix in a ziploc bag in a dark cupboard and refill my little counter top jar as needed.
Now go make some chai! 🙂