Recipes: No-Tea Chai

I’m going to try to feature a recipe or two as they come to mind and this morning I woke up with a craving for something my friend Marie put together for me. Depending on what tea you use, black tea can overwhelm some of the more subtle tastes of the spices in chai, so if you want to cut down your caffine intake or taste a different version, here’s mine.

Shop for your ingredients at a middle eastern grocery if you have one nearby, you can get the items in enough of a qantity to make many cups. This recipe is best suited to be made in a travel mug or a small thermos, 500 ml to 1 L.

Ingredients (Modify to suit your own taste)

  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Milk or soy milk to taste

Put all the spices into the bottom of the travel mug or thermos, you can use a tea ball or cheesecloth if you prefer. I like them loose. Pour a small amount of milk/soy milk over the spices and let it sit while you boil water for the tea. When the water is almost boiling, pour it over the spices, within an inch of the top, then top off with milk to suit your own tastes. I like a fair amount of soy milk in mine.

I like to let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes before drinking, unlike black, green and white teas, the longer you let it steep the more intense the flavor gets with no additional bitterness.