Spiced Chai is one of our favorite winter drinks, and we can easily drink 1-2 gallons a day between all of us. We love to share this with anyone who comes over to our house, and try always to keep a pot ready on the stove. We make it 6-8 quarts at a time, so it lasts for a while (well, at least for a day!)
Chai is really just the word for "tea" in several different languages, but it has come to refer to a blend of spices usually made with black tea, but we leave the black tea out of our recipe to avoid the caffeine, and also because it really isn't necessary to make a great tasting hot drink. Sweetened with honey, our blend of chai is loaded with immune boosting spices which come in handy around the holidays, when lots of people seem to get sick. Since ours has no caffeine, we finish off each day with a hot cup before bed!
Here's the basic recipe. Feel free to innovate, and try different spices and different proportions too. We have encountered lots of different chai recipes, but this is the one that works best for our tastes. We buy all our organic spices whole (not ground), and in bulk. The main two companies we use are Starwest Botanicals and Frontier, and they are both available on Amazon.
About 6 quarts water
(optionally add 4-8 cups almond milk too)
4 oz fresh ginger, cut into slices
6-8 cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup whole cardamom pods
1/3 cup whole anise seeds
1/3 cup whole fennel seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole coriander seed
Boil / simmer the entire mixture for an hour or longer. Serve with a ladle and strain with a sieve into cups to mke sure whole spices don't end up in someone's cup! You can leave the whole mixture on the stove overnight, and just reheat it the next day. You can either sweeten the whole pot with honey, or simply sweeten individual cups as you serve them. A little cream added to the cup, or a little almond milk makes the perfect cup...
About the Authors
Max and Deirdre Becher farm together on First Steps Farm in Southern California. They love farming, raising their kids, playing music, contradancing, cooking, and working together to create a vibrant culture of celebrating life. See it all unfold right here!