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Recipe: Masala Chai (Tea)

I am addicted to Chai Tea.
It is seriously my Prozac.
Now, I’m of course talking about my homemade from scratch chai not the little packets you buy in the store.

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There are probably 5 million of these recipes floating around Pinterest, but they aren’t as good as mine (ok there are probably like 4 or 5 but not that many). Why? Because I had mine passed on to me by a dear friend then I spent many years perfecting it. Not to mention, it is made with whole spices not ground spices (Bleh).

Masala Chai (Tea) Recipe
6 cups water
3 sticks cinnamon
15 all spice berries
10 black pepper corns
10 cloves
5 slices of fresh ginger
5 star anise
8-10 cardamom pods
2 grates of nutmeg
6 bags or 4-6 Tbsps. black tea
1/3 cup organic sugar cane
1 tap vanilla

Add spices to water. Bring to a boil, set heat on low and simmer with lid on pan for 20 minutes to 3 hours. Strain out spices. Bring spiced water back to a boil. Take off heat and add black tea (do not boil the tea). Steep for 5 minutes. Strain out black tea. Add sugar and vanilla and stir till dissolved.

Heat ½ cup chai tea mixture with ½ cup milk for a lovely drink. Or mix with milk and enjoy cold.

“Each batch of Chai has its own Karma” -Joanna

Usually when I make chai, I just eye ball the spices. Sometimes, I crack the spices with a mortal ands pestle to help them steep better but most times I don’t.
By using whole spices, it gives me the ability to add a little more cardamom or ginger or less clove or allspice and tweak the taste till I have found a blend that is perfect for my taste buds, hence why I think my recipe is the best. I also like to experiment with using different teas: green, oolong, or rooibos (although black is my favorite).

If you want to make real authentic chai, then boil the spices and tea with water and milk, but if you do this, you have to drink it right away. I like to make two quarts of the chai then mix with milk whenever I want a cup.

Since I use quality spices, I usually get two batches out of one set of spices. After I strain out spiced liquid (before I add the tea), I add more water to the spices and put them back on the heat to simmer. Usually this second batch is simmered longer than the first. I even turn off the heat and just let it sit all night. This second batch can be weaker, but still makes a nice brew.

Usually I pick up my spices from Penzey’s Spices or Whole foods.

Although, I am a severe critic of chai tea brews, here is one that is also positively smashing as well.

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Recipe: Refreshing Raspberry Leaf Tea

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I love tea. I drink it winter and summer except for this summer. Excessive heat/humidity and pregnancy don’t mesh very well. Plus, too much caffeine, the experts say, isn’t best for the babies development.

I tried to compromise by drinking cold red raspberry leaf tea. I thought, it must be great since raspberry tea is my favorite. Unfortunately, red, ripe raspberries are my favorite not green, grassy raspberry leaves. So to beat the heat and get down some of this lovely leafy stuff, I came up with a refreshing blend that really is quite delightful. 

 

two raspberry leaf tea bags (Traditional Medicinals and Alvita are good brands)

two traditional medicinals pregnancy tea bags

one tazo passion tea bag

1/4 cup honey

1 liter water

  Heat up half the water to just under boiling, add tea bags and honey, stir, let brew for 15 minutes or so. Pour in the other half of the water and some ice cubes and enjoy.

 

 

The benefits of red raspberry leaf tea for pregnancy from some tea website

“Brewed as a tea, red raspberry leaf is one of the safest and commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant. Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) tones the uterus, improves contractions and decreases constipation. It also contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and calcium. The alkaloid fragrine is thought to help tone the uterus.”

The pregnancy health center (website I stole the picture from) has more information on the benefits of this tea during the last trimester of pregnancy.