holiday beverages: homemade red chai tea
Chai Tea is most often made with black tea, lots of milk, and lots of sugar. This healthier version features Rooibos– also known as red bush tea. This herb (it’s not actually a tea) is high in antioxidants but does not contain any caffeine. The base recipe does not have any milk or sugar, but it’s certainly delicious if you want to add a bit of milk or honey. Rooibos is a great alternative to after-dinner coffee or tea: all those spices and ginger helps with digestion, and no caffeine means that your guests will sleep just fine that evening.
Homemade Red Chai Tea
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1 Tablespoon cardamom seeds
1 Tablespoon fennel seed
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
A few whole star anise
6 cups filtered water
1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
¼ cup loose Rooibos tea
Almond milk, soymilk, or coconut milk to taste (optional)
Honey, sugar, or agave to taste (optional)
- To a large stockpot or saucepan add cinnamon sticks, cardamom, peppercorns, fennel, and cloves. Heat over medium-low until spices are toasted and fragrant.
- Add 6 cups water and ginger to stockpot. Bring to a boil and add red tea. Turn off heat, and let steep five minutes. Strain out tea and spices, and divide into mugs.
- Serve with your favorite milk and sweetener as you like. Enjoy!
Yield: 6 cups tea