I love Chai Tea, but I love my DIY Turmeric Chai Tea even more. Traditional Chai tea is made with a base of loose black tea and various spices. There is no fixed spice recipe or mix, so you can customize according to your taste. The most popular spices to be found in a traditional Chai tea are: Cardamom, Ginger, Pepper, and cinnamon. You can add Star Anise, nutmeg, and in my case, turmeric.
Why add turmeric? Turmeric is my Chai Tea twist: I don’t mind the taste, and it adds a mega health boost to your brew. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, Turmeric is the new trendy spice because it’s anti-inflammatory benefits have been unearthed. This bright orange root does indeed guard against inflammation, and in particular protects against degenerative brain disease, such as Alzheimer’s.
Keep in mind that ninety percent of the “Chai” tea that you find in the coffee shop, especially when you order a latte, is not real Chai! It doesn’t even remotely resemble tea because it comes either as a sugary powder or a syrup mix – YUCK. These Chai pretenders are full of sugar and artificial flavor, and should be avoided at all costs. If you order a Chai Tea out, ask if it’s “real” loose tea.
But, instead of paying close to five bucks for fake chai, why not make your own? My recipe is just delicious. Please make sure that you use fresh spices, and try to find fresh ginger root. You may not be able to find fresh turmeric root, so just use the powder.
SOPHIE’S DIY CHAI TEA
- 1 tbsp organic loose black tea
- 2 peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled
- 1 inch fresh turmeric root, peeled (or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric)
- 1 cinnamon stick (in a pinch, you can use 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
- Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan with 2 cups water.
- Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain off the tea and spices, and place the tea back in the saucepan.
- Add a little non-dairy milk, and if you want it sweeter, add 1 tsp of date sugar.
- Warm your tea to the desired temperature and serve.
Topping: If you want to get real fancy, you can steam a little of your non-dairy milk and add it to your Chai to make a latte. If you want to get even fancier, you can top with a little non-dairy whipped “cream” and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
You can re-use your tea mix. Just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge, and pop it back into the saucepan with 2 cups water, and repeat the process.
And, if you can’t face making your own, at least buy some good quality loose Chai Tea. I like the Classic Chai from Mountain Rose Herbs.