A couple of weeks ago, my relationship with chai tea was transformed.
I love chai tea, and I've had great chai tea in Indian restaurants. But drinking chai tea at home has always been a huge disappointment. Now I know why. Homemade chai tea made with fresh whole spices makes those chai teabags you buy in the store taste like wet cardboard.
A couple weeks ago, we toured Melody's kitchen in the Real Food Kitchen Tour. She posted her recipe for homemade chai tea in the comments. It sounded so good to me, that I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did.
I especially like the chai tea with coconut milk. I've been reading Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut. In the book, Dr. Fife says that we should aim to get 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil per day.
I am one of these people who really does not like taking coconut oil off the spoon. But guess what? Three ounces of coconut milk contains a little over 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. I have not found a better way to take my dose of coconut oil than this chai tea.
This recipe may sound like a lot of work but I have really been enjoying making it. I even made a few extra bags of chai tea to give to my friends and family members as gifts.
Why Decaf Chai Tea?
Caffeine is really bad for you! I'm still recovering from adrenal fatigue and it has taken years. And don't kid yourself — all forms of caffeine are bad for your adrenals. This includes black tea, which is caffeinated (not to mention green tea).
To read more about why I quit coffee and why it's bad for you, read this: How to Quit Coffee.
Homemade Decaf Chai Tea
Makes 6-10 cups (you can make more or less depending on how strong you like your tea)
Whole cardamom pods (25)
Freshly ground black pepper (1/2 tsp)
Freshly ground whole nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
Crystalized ginger (4 cubes)
Cinnamon stick, 2 inches (1)
Whole cloves (10)
Whole anise star (2)
Fennel seeds (1/2 tsp)
Whole peppercorns (20)
Ground ginger powder (2 pinches)
Cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp)
Filtered water (4 cups)
Decaf black tea or roobios tea (either 4 black tea bags or 4 tsp loose leaf tea) — where to buy decaf black tea ; where to buy roobios tea
Raw whole milk from grass-fed cows, or full-fat coconut milk (to taste) — where to buy raw milk and where to buy coconut milk
Raw honey (to taste) — where to buy honey
1. Smash the cardamom pods with the back of a knive or using a mortar and pestle.
2. Grind the pepper and grate the nutmeg.
3. Chop up the crystallized ginger.
4. Add all the spice ingredients — everything except the tea, filtered water, milk and honey — to a paper tea bag.
5. Cut a 10- to 12-inch piece of kitchen twine and use it to tie the homemade tea bag closed.
6. Fill a saucepan with 4 cups of filtered water and bring to a boil.
7. Add the homemade tea bag and the 4 decaf black tea (or roobios) bags to the saucepan.
8. Turn off the heat and let steep for 5 minutes.
9. Remove the black tea/roobios tea bags (if you leave them it will become very bitter).
10. Leave the homemade tea bag in the water and let steep for 24-36 hours — or simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.
11. When it's done steeping, just remove the tea bag and store in the fridge.
12. When you're ready to make a cup of tea, pour half a cup's worth of the chai tea blend into a small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-high and let it get nice and hot.
13. Add honey to taste; stir until blended.
14. Add the raw milk or coconut milk and stir until blended.
15. Pour into a cup or mug and enjoy.
Note: The chai tea base will keep in the fridge for about a week. I guarantee it won't stay in there that long, though!