Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cynthia's Chai Tea

This recipe appeared as my October column in my local newspaper, The Hinton Voice - this recipe is courtesy of their reporter Cynthia Bigrigg, who makes wicked awesome chai tea! 

[A couple of months back my friend Cynthia (and reporter at the Voice) and I were chatting recipes.  She mentioned that she brews her own chai tea, often several times a month. Upon hearing this I immediately made plans with her to share the recipe with you all this fall.  Well fall is now upon us, so the other night while brightly colored leaves swirled to the ground, we got together and made this recipe.  Let me tell you, it was the best darn chai tea I have ever tasted!

This chai tea can be made as a concentrate and stored for up to a week in the fridge – though guaranteed it will be long gone well before the week is over.  You can add the cooled mixture to cold milk for a delicious iced chai, or warm it up for a steaming hot mug of this popular beverage.

So what is chai tea exactly? In India, the word “chai” simply means tea.  Here in the west it refers specifically to a spiced Indian style of tea – a tea made with traditional Indian spices and milk.  Often times this beverage is referred to as masala chai, which is actually more popular in India than coffee! 

Chai itself has a history that dates back thousands of years.  Through those thousands of years it has evolved to include countless variations and a worldwide fan base.  You can find chai tea lattes in nearly any coffeehouse, and now, in the comforts of your own kitchen without the use of processed syrups and chemicals.

Legend has it that a king was the first to create chai as a cleansing and vivifying beverage.  While I doubt I will be serving it to royalty anytime soon, I can’t think of a better beverage to accompany a good book, a quiet moment of reflection, or a visit with a dear friend.]

Recipe makes 6-7 cups of tea

Time: 20 minutes

- 1 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 10 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice
- 6 white peppercorns
- 5 black peppercorns
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 + teaspoons black tea
- 3 cups water
- 4 cups whole milk
- honey to taste (optional)


1) Boil spices with water

2) Remove from heat.  Steep, covered for 5 minutes.

3) Bring mixture back to a boil.  Add tea, remove from heat.  Steep 15 minutes, then strain. 

4) If serving right away, add milk and heat through.  If storing mixture, add milk as desired.  If you prefer your chai sweet, add a bit honey to taste.

- Nutritional Info (per serving) -

Calories – 91    Fat - 5    Carbs – 7     Protein - 5   Fibre - 0



  1. A friend once told me that bringing the chai to the boil and taking it off several times gives the tea more body!

  2. Oh yum, I love chai! It's such a nice drink to warm up with when the weather is rainy or cold.


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