I recently learned that the word 'chai' means 'tea' in India and other parts of the world. I realized how little I knew about the beverage and what it did for me so I did some research. Here's a brief description: Chai is a drink that contains black tea, a combination of spices, milk, and a sweetener. The spices vary depending on the region, but they all make up a warming and nourishing beverage. Chai is great for digestive health, supports the immune system, and boosts mood. It is full of antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory (if made with dairy-free milk).
I've been making this chai on a weekly basis lately and I'm excited to share the recipe with you. This is a bit different from a chai latte since it doesn't contain steamed milk, but it's still just as delicious and has way less sugar than the concentrates that we find at stores and coffee shops. Enjoy it hot or cold.
4 cups water
1-inch piece of ginger root, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 Tablespoons loose leaf black tea (or 3 tea bags)
½ cup milk, unsweetened (almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, hemp milk)
½ Tablespoon coconut sugar
Grind spices cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, and fennel seeds in spice grinder or mortar and pestle (make your own with a bowl and a rock or back of a spoon).
Place water, all spices, and ginger root in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Add tea and let steep for 5-6 minutes. Remove tea.
- Add milk and sweetener and mix. Strain and serve.
Makes ~4 cups