I cant remember exactly the first time I tried chai tea, but it would roughly be around 13 or so years ago when I moved down to Hobart in Southern Tasmania from my small hometown in the north of the state. Although Hobart isn’t large by any means, it is a fair deal larger than the small country town I grew up in which had no cafes, and definitely no chai tea (or at least didnt back then).
Chai, meaning “tea” in Hindu – hence its name is really “tea” tea – is usually black tea flavoured with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, peppercorns, star anise, fennel seeds or nutmeg. My favorite way to make chai is the steep the chosen spices in water overnight, and then add the tea, fresh ginger, honey and milk the following morning.
This chai mix has a subtle masala chai flavour and makes the perfect gift, simply add to a jar or container with a ribbon and ingredients list. To brew, simple add a tablespoon per person to a tea pot and steep in hot water for five minutes before serving.
Masala chai tea blend
1 cup loose black leaf tea
2x 4-inch cinnamon quills
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 star anise pod
15 green cardamom pods
Remove the seeds from the star anise and caramom pods. Add all seeds, coves and cinnamon quills to a mortar and pestle and crush lightly.
Add tea leaves to a bowl and mix in the crushed spices. Pour into small glass jars and add a ribbon or tie.