Chai with Rooibos

Mug of Chai

The first time I tasted chai was in an Indian restaurant in Ottawa when I was in university. I had never tasted anything quite like the sweet and spicy concoction; it’s comforting and warming, and I think mildly addictive.

While I do enjoy the convenience of chai tea bags, the flavour of homemade chai is so much better because the amount of each spice can be adjusted, as well as the type of tea that it’s made with. Today, I used rooibos tea, and a mixture of water and soy milk, with the addition of honey. I find that I enjoy chai even more when it’s made with soy milk than cow’s milk; somehow the flavours of the spices seem more rich and intense with the soy.

If using powdered spices, paper or fine muslin tea bags help to contain the spices. If you are using cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and pieces of fresh ginger, any kind of strainer that can be submerged will do.

Chai with Rooibos
makes one 12 ounce serving

1 teaspoon loose leaf rooibos (or tea of choice)
1/4 teaspoon dried ground cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick, broken up into pieces)
1/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger (or 1/4 inch slice of fresh ginger)
1/8 teaspoon dried ground cloves (or four whole cloves)
three peppercorns (optional)
1 star anise (optional)
6 ounces water
6 ounces soy milk (or whichever milk you like)
1 – 2 teaspoons of honey or other sweetener

Place all spices into tea bag, and place in a small saucepan (if using whole spices, these can go straight into the pan.

Pour the water and milk into the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn the heat down to medium/low, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Gently stir occasionally, pressing the spoon against the tea bag, to diffuse the fragrant spices throughout the water mixture.

Chai simmering

Pour into a mug, add honey to taste, stir to combine, and enjoy the sweet cloud of spicy comfort.

*I couldn’t find information for all the spices regarding oxalates, but based on what I could find, this is probably medium when made with regular spices. To make it low, use spice extracts at half the amounts listed, for example: 1/8 tsp cinnamon extract, 1/8 tsp ginger extract, a few drops of allspice extract, and use white peppercorns.

Printable version:

Chai with Rooibos

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon loose leaf rooibos (or tea of choice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick, broken up into pieces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger (or 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (or four whole cloves)
  • 3 peppercorns (optional)
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • 6 ounces water
  • 6 ounces soy milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey (of sweetener of choice)

Instructions

  1. Place all spices into tea bag, and place in a small saucepan (if using whole spices, these can go straight into the pan).

    Pour the water and milk into the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn the heat down to medium/low, and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Gently stir occasionally, pressing the spoon against the tea bag, to diffuse the fragrant spices throughout the water mixture.

    Pour into a mug, add honey to taste, stir to combine, and enjoy the sweet cloud of spicy comfort.

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2 Responses to Chai with Rooibos

  1. The first time I tried Chai tea, I was shocked at the flavour. I wasn’t expecting the sweet/spicy mix, I haven’t drank it since! I’d love to try yours, it’s got to be way better than the pre-made packaged tea, it was way too sweet as most pre-made things are.

    • Yes, most pre-made things are way too sweet for me too…I think when you make your own, the spices are much fresher and more potent as well. I hope you give it another try.

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