Okay, so we all know this is the best ever spiced chai.
But I live in Spain and posting even small and light things like tea from Australia is akin to throwing $50 notes down the toilet like you just don’t care. Except that I do care.
So I went on a months-long hunt to create something that tasted even remotely similar and came up with this spectacular homemade seven-spice chai.
I know, I know. Seven is a biggish number, right? That’s a lot of spices.
But all of these things are perfectly usable for other yum things, like curries and cookies and all sorts. Plus, you use very little each chai so they’ll last rather awhile. I promise.
Besides, look how pretty they are. Don’t you just want to eat them all up?
This recipe hunt coincided with a period of attempting to live sans caffeine, so black tea was out of the question. And so began a love affair with rooibos tea. Red rooibos, to be exact.
Have you tried it? Rooibos is actually a medicinal herb that’s packed full of all kinds of good-for-you minerals and antioxidants. It can even help soothe things like headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema and allergies. Check this loooong list of benefits and be amazed.
Together with the spices, rooibos makes a rich, warming and slightly peppery chai that is freaking addictive. You’ve been warned.
Makes enough to fill one super-sized mug, or three normal mugs.
½ cup red rooibos tea (or black tea)
6 fennel seeds
4 cardamon pods
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
1-2 whole star anise
6 clove sticks
5 whole peppercorns
Half a centimetre fresh ginger, roughly chopped
Soy milk or other non-dairy milk
3 cups of water
Dash of agave syrup for sweetness, if desired (I don’t add any)
Note: You can use ground spices instead of whole spices if that’s what you have in the cupboard. It’ll work just the same.
Place all of the spices in a small saucepan and add 3 cups of water. Cover and bring to the boil.
Add in the tea, turn off the heat and allow everything to steep, covered, for about eight minutes.
Strain off the tea directly into mugs then add soy milk and agave syrup to taste.
Hot weather version: This spiced chai is equally delicious served chilled over chunky cubes of ice. I often pop it in a jar, screw the lid on and enjoy iced chai on the run. It also lasts several days in the fridge.
Now excuse me while I duck off for yet another size-of-my-head cup of tea.