Tea for two…..
Well, now that we’re just about done with winter, I’ve recently discovered a wonderfully soothing and delicious hot drink! This spicy, milky tea, sweetened with honey, can be made with rooibos tea to produce a naturally caffeine-free drink that is high in anti-oxidants and low in tannins. It makes a great change from regular tea or coffee. And one little boy on our taste panel even prefers it to hot chocolate!
The word “chai” is Hindi for “tea” and this centuries-old beverage of Indian origin has much tradition and ritual associated with its preparation. The spices added to Chai vary from place to place, but generally include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and in some areas, masala, anise or orange peel.
Here’s our version of this tasty hot drink:
- 2 cups water
- 10 cardamom pods, crushed/smashed with back of a spoon
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 piece stick cinnamon, about 1 inch
- 4 slices fresh ginger
- 3 teaspoons loose leaf rooibos tea, or 2 rooibos teabags
- 1½ tablespoons honey, or to taste
- 1½ cups milk
- Place the water and spices in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 4-6 minutes, until the liquid is lightly colored and fragrant.
- Stir in the tea, remove from the heat and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the honey and milk and heat to boiling point again. Simmer for about 2 minutes, while stirring.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into mugs.