Winter Herbal Chai
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Winter Herbal Chai

15th January 2021

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Chai is a sweet and spicey tea drink from India. I thought I would share with you a recipe for a warming winter chai tea blend that you can make yourself with an optional herby twist. This is something I like to enjoy when it's cold becuase it contains warming spices and can be adapted in many different ways. I drink a lot of herbal tea in the winter to keep warm and hydrated and feel like this is something a bit more varied, special and creative..

BASIC RECIPE (Makes 3-4 cups and takes about 25mins total)

1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp cinnamon powder

6-8 green cardamom pods or 1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp whole cloves or 1/2 powder

1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)

3 whole star anise (optional)

2 bay leaves (optional)

2 tbsp chopped or grated fresh ginger root (I prefer to chop it and normally use a bit more than this amount for personal taste)

2 1/2 cups water

2 cups of any plant milk (oat, almond, soya etc)

a sweetener of your choice (sugar, maple syrup, honey etc)

3 black tea bags (optional)

Herbal berries and roots (elderberry, hawthorn, rosehips, tumeric etc) - optional

METHOD (See pictures below)

- Measure spices and add to a pestle and mortar (picture 1 & 6)

- Give them a bash to break up the cells a bit and combine flavours (picture 2)

- Add any optional herbal roots or berries, (but not leaves or flowers yet). I added a tsp of elderberries to mine (picture 3)

- Add water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15mins (picture 4)

- Add the milk, sweetener and optional tea bags or any herbal leaves or flowers and simmer gently for another 5 minutes (picture 5)

- Pour into a teapot or mugs through a strainer and enjoy while hot. You can also keep some on the stove or in a thermos for later (main picture!)

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