spices

home-brewed spiced chai tea

17th June 2009

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Unlike my sister’s seasonal dishes, it is Winter here in Australia, and I am looking for warming and soothing foods.  I must say that no drink better does that job than home-brewed chai tea.  This recipe has been adapted over the years and first came from my sister and her trips to India.  My husband has perfected the re-brewing stage using our coffee machine steamer to warm the tea and froth the milk.  He has a technique which produces frothy, creamy tea of which I am yet to master.  Not that I really want to find out quite yet.

warming spiced chai tea

I use rooibos (red tea), rather than black tea as I find the black tea is too intense and overshadows the spice flavours.  Also, rooibos is caffeine-free, so perfect for those who prefer no caffeine and it makes a great bed-time drink.  I have experimented with using different flavoured rooibos teas, and as I usually have a variety on hand, I usually add 1 plain rooibos and 2 vanilla rooibos.  Caramel flavoured if you can get it, is also very good.

ingredients 

1L filtered water

4-5 slices fresh ginger (cut on the horizontal, so long slices)

9 whole cloves

15 whole cardamom pods

1 whole star anise (optional)

1 cinnamon stick

5 whole peppercorns

3 rooibos tea bags (I use organic, available from supermarkets/health food stores)

preparation 

1.  Add all ingredients, except tea bags in a large saucepan.  Cover and bring to boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

2.  Turn off heat and add tea bags – let sit covered for at least 10 minutes. (I like to leave overnight for a more intense flavour).

3.  Strain, removing tea bags and spices. Serve with milk of choice and honey if desired.

Any leftover tea can be stored in a covered jug in the fridge for up to 3 days. Heat quantity as required.

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