Pausing throughout the day to sip on a warm or chilled mug of homemade authentic Masala Chai or Spiced Tea is a simple luxury I am savouring this month. So in this blog post I am going to share with you my favourite authentic Masala Chai recipe using whole spices
Burning some lavender, reading a book and sipping on a freshly made pot of spice tea to unwind before bed is a great way to ensure a good night's sleep.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis
I personally love to use an old hand-made pottery mug that I picked up at the thrift store many years ago. I often pair it with a pottery teapot I purchased at a local craft market some time back.
Sipping on a warm cup of spiced tea, holding the imperfect pottery mug in my hand that has been made by the artisan with intention and care is a ritual that I find grounds, calms and restores.
In India masala means spice, and chai means tea - which equates to Spiced Tea.
And that is exactly what Masala Chai is -black tea infused with fragrant spices, typically served with milk and a little sweetener
The only way to drink Masala Chai is to make it with fresh spices which you can hand-blend yourself or buy at the local market or bulk bin store.
It is very easy and quick to make, all you need is black tea, spices, milk and if you wish something to sweeten it with.
TEA: Use high quality organic black tea that is bold and robust. In India, they use Assam or Darjeeling because it is grown locally. Take some time to explore local tea merchants in your region otherwise journey to India with some Darjeeling. Loose leaf tea is by far the best - however, you certainly can use black tea bags if you wish. Feel free to use decaffeinated also.
SPICES: There is no one way to blend your spices - authentic and to your personal taste is always best. The spices that are used are fresh or dried ginger, cardamom pods, cinnamon, whole cloves, peppercorns and star anise
MILK: Use your milk of choice. I love oat milk in mine - makes it ever so creamy and decadent.
SWEETENER: Some people like a little something sweet in their Spiced Tea. You could use brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, stevia, rice malt syrup or monk fruit. My favourite is either coconut sugar or maple syrup.
HOW TO MAKE:
- 5–7 green cardamom pods
- 3–4 whole cloves
- 1–2 star anise
- 5–7 peppercorns
- 2–3 slices ginger (or more! skins ok)
- ½ cinnamon stick– split lengthwise
- 1–2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea, (or 1–2 tea bags)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup milk of your choice- organic whole milk, almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, cashew milk, hemp milk
- 2–3 teaspoons (or more or less) maple syrup, honey, sugar or alternative. (Sugar is traditional, but I prefer maple. )
- Lightly crush cardamom pods, whole cloves, star anise and peppercorns, and place in a small pot with 1 cup of water.
- Add ginger, cinnamon and black tea. I like to muddle the ginger a bit right in the pot.
- Bring to a boil and turn the off heat (don’t continue to boil the tea, it may get bitter) and let it steep at least 10 minutes…. or for several hours. The longer, the more flavour!
- Add your choice of milk. Bring to a simmer once more, and turn off the heat.
- Stir in your choice of sweetener, taste, and add more sweetener to taste.
- Aerate the Chai [optional]. In India, chai vendors are seen pulling tea: where the brew is poured back and forth between two pots repeatedly until it turns slightly foamy. "Pulling" the chai aerates the tea and gives it a smoother and creamier, taste. You can try to mimic this technique by using a ladle or metal measuring cup to scoop up some chai and pour it back into the pot during the last few minutes of the simmering process.
- Pour into a teapot. Steep, pour, pause, sip and appreciate