Enjoy this simple homemade chai with or without the caffeine and sink into all of the sensual glory this season provides us.
Call me crazy, but I love cold weather. The crisp cool mornings, clear night skies, cozy sweaters, warm fires, and hot beverages- I'm here for it! Ever since we moved to the Southern US where summers are long and snow is rare a few years ago I savor every moment of cool weather that comes our way.
This includes optimizing my cool weather beverages. As soon as the crispness hits the air, you can find a pot of homemade chai on the back burner of the stove, ready to be heated as needed for a cup of coziness. (Bonus, it makes the house smell soooo good!)
I drink lots of different teas and infusions throughout the year but I love chai for cool weather because the warming herbs like cinnamon and cardamom really warm you from the inside out. Plus they taste incredible. This herbal chai is an adaptation of the traditional black tea chai that takes out the caffeine and adds in a little extra nourishment from the herbs. The best part is that you can mix the herbs ahead and take it with you to enjoy on any adventure.
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 black peppercorns
small (about 1/2 inch) piece of fresh ginger
2 Tsp of Nettle or Rooibos
& Milk of Choice (to taste)
With a mortar and pestle crush the cardamom pods & cloves thoroughly.
Add the crushed herbs and the remaining herbs (excluding the nettle or rooibos) to a pot (preferably glass or ceramic) cover, and bring to a simmer.
Take care not to boil or you will lose some of the medicinal components of the plants.
Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off heat, add the tea or rooibos and allow to steep for 3 additional minutes. Reheat as needed!
Strain herbs, add cream and syrup and enjoy.