my home made chai tea recipe

I posted a pic of my home made chai concoction on instagram the other week, and got a few requests to share the recipe. I've shared a warming chai recipe before, here, but this one is a touch different. Tea has gotten me through a lot of sticky moments. The ritual of boiling water in an old-fashioned whistle kettle (which takes longer but gives you a few extra minutes to sit and be still), brewing the leaves, selecting a nice cup, pouring it, sipping it slowly..., yep, if nothing else, at least there'll always be tea.

Nothing much beats freshly made chai. I'm quietly confident that once you've made your own, you won't go back to buying it ready-made. I make it in small batches because the fresher it is, the better it tastes.

chai tea is a salve for the soul

my home made chai tea

As usual, I don't take precise measurements, I just throw in whatever makes sense to me at the time. I smell as I go. It usually works out to approximately these proportions:

makes approx. 250g
you'll need: a mortar and pestle, or a large chopping board, a towel and something with which to bash the spices (like a glass jar).

4-5 whole cloves
5 green cardamom pods
1/2 nutmeg pod
1 cinnamon stick, broken up into small pieces
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces
1 star anise
roughly 200g organic black tea leaves, or rooibos tea leaves (optional)

Gently bash the cloves, cardamom pods, nutmeg pod, cinnamon, vanilla pod and star anise in a mortar or pestle (or on a chopping board covering with a towel and bashing with the bottom of a glass jar) until the larger spices break down a little and the mixture is fragrant. Place the black tea leaves and the spice mix in a medium-sized bowl and mix thoroughly. Store in an air-tight jar in a cool, dark place (in the pantry is fine). Use within a couple of weeks for optimal taste sensation.

To make into a drink, gently simmer the tea in either milk, 1/2 milk 1/2 water or just water for a few minutes before straining and serving.


  1. Yum! This is such a lovely simple recipe, I'll have to give it a go.



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