When tea becomes ritual, it takes place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things.
~ Muriel Barbery
I’m a big believer in self-nurture. And you already know that I am also an embracer of the small things in life. For me, one of those small pleasures is to sip tea, and a good chai is in a class of its own – spicy, sweet and soul nourishing.
Chai goes well with journalling, morning pages, soul work, creativity, and books (both the writing and reading of them)!
One of the things I love about chai tea is the ritual of it. I love making the spice mix. I love steeping the tea, and pouring it into my favourite chai mug. I love being anchored in the smells and the taste, and I love the memories that chai evokes for me. It’s always a lesson in mindfulness, and that’s a good thing. Mindfulness anchors us in the moment, and it stills our worrying mind, creating a sense of spaciousness and ease.
I know there are lots of chai syrups and powders around, and they are great for the convenience. But it’s easy to make a tea mix up, and store it in a jar ready for those moments when you need a chai fix. I promise it will taste good, and you can tweak it to your own tastes.
I hope you enjoy this one!
Love, and heavenly scented beverages, Nicole xx
Ingredients For Chai Mix
- 8 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 10 cardamon pods
- 1 tspn peppercorns
- 1/2 tspn fennel or anise seeds – or go crazy and do 1/2 tspn of each
- 6 star anise
- 1 grated fresh nutmeg kernel or 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (use fresh if you can because the flavour is soooo good)
- 1 tblspn dried ginger root or ginger powder
- 1 cup of loose black tea leaves of your choice – they can be plain or a flavoured black tea, such as Early Grey or Vanilla
- Crush the spices roughly in a mortar and pestle. You don’t need to grind them to a powder. Rough chunks are fine. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle you could place the spices in a ziplock bag, cover with a folded cloth and then bash the spices with a meat tenderiser, mallet, rolling pin, or even crush them under a heavy fry pan.
- Add the crushed spices and tea together and mix well. Store in an airtight jar.
How To Prepare Chai Tea
To make a cup of chai place one half cup of milk of your choice and one half cup of water in a saucepan and bring them to the boil. Then add one large teaspoon of the chai tea mix. (Sometimes, for variety, I add slices of fresh ginger if I have any to hand, and sometimes a curl of fresh orange rind or an inch of vanilla bean pod.) Chai is a personal thing, so you may need to play around with the quantity – it is also dependent on cup or mug size. Simmer for two minutes, or until you’re happy with the flavour. I do recommend making more than one cup at a time if you’re fond of chai and know you might go back for a second serving!
When the tea is to your liking strain into a cup and enjoy. If you have made extra it still serves to strain the tea mix out so that it doesn’t become tannic and bitter.
Always add a little sweetener to your chai tea. It helps accentuate the flavours. I use honey, which imparts its own special magic. Experiment. It’s fun! Enjoy ♥