1 T whole cloves
1 T whole black peppercorns
1 T whole cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
1” of ginger root, sliced
The love the taste of chai, but seldom want the caffeine or drying effect of black tea. This recipe does NOT need black tea at all to be incredibly tasty!
Soak spices in a large ‘soup’ pot (4-8 cup), ¾ filled with water, at least an hour, or overnight. Simmer for a few hours until flavourful. You can easily make larger batches by increasing the spices! Once the flavours of the spices have dissolved, dilute with water to taste. Milk is traditionally added to chai, but need not be.
You’ll be able to add more water to these same spices and re-simmer until the flavours are too mild for your liking. Compost the spices and start over! When you get used to how you want it to taste, feel free to ‘play’ with the amounts of the different spices. For example, try adding star anise. Or, increase the amount of fresh ginger root if you are getting a cold, and are feeling chilled.
WARNING: do not get a chill after drinking any hot beverage with fresh ginger root. The ginger root’s inherent property opens the pores so you can sweat. This is how we can drive out a cold. But, this would be a particularly bad time to get a further chill if you are already coming down with a cold!
All of these spices are warm by nature. Like cayenne pepper, they are hot-warm. So, it is particularly welcome in the cooler months of the year!