Sunday, 12 September 2010

A spicy and energising chai tea

There was dew on the grass and a certain chill in the air as I went for a walk this morning. Autumn's a-coming and as the days start to draw in a little I've been thinking again about herbs to energise and protect in the coming months. I've been drawn to the recipes in Rosemary Gladstar's book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, and in particular those for "longevity and radiant well-being". I recently made her Brain Tonic Tincture.

I'm trying to drink a bit less coffee so I decided to make the "Longevity Chai", about which Rosemary writes:
"A robust, spicy herbal blend originating in India, Nepal and Tibet, chai comes in literally thousands of varieties. The following chai blend is especially formulated for longevity. Serve it hot or chilled with frothy steamed milk."

I didn't have all the ingredients so I adapted it slightly and made up my own quantities as I went along. My version contains: black ceylon tea, ginger, cinnamon flakes, sliced licorice root, broken up ginseng root, some crushed cardamon pods, some rose petals, cloves, a few crushed black peppercorns, and a little nutmeg. As I was making this as a gift I also had fun decorating the jar:

I tried the tea this morning and its absolutely delicious, very tasty and a nice alternative to a morning coffee. I gently heated about a tablespoon of the mixture in a large-ish mug of water, with the lid on, for about 10-15 minutes. I don't have a milk "frother" so I just added some milk and a little honey to taste. Mmmm! This could become another winter favourite methinks. :-)

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  1. Rose petals and ginseng are new ideas to me, to add to chai type tea. Sounds lovely:) thank you for sharing. I will have to try this!

  2. I agree, rose petals in chai - what a great idea. I like the sound of that with frothy milk. What do you have lining your pretty little tea jar?

  3. The rose petals were a slightly random addition, but it was nice to have them in. The ingredients I was missing were damiana and fo ti - I've ordered both so I'm going to try another version with them in to compare.

    Yes it would be lovely with frothy milk! The lining of the jar is just some green tissue paper to go with the green glass paint I used on the outside of the jar.

    Best wishes,

  4. Loving the recipe Elizabeth, will give it a try later. Did you try the version damiana and Fo Ti in yet?

    Hope all's well with you, been ages since we chatted!

    Herby Hugs - Debs x

  5. I love chai tea! I have been buying a pre prepared mix from a local herbal shop for the pasy 18 months, but it sounds wonderful to try making my own. It is such a sublime drink when made with hot milk...

    Yum! :)

  6. wow, what a great idea - Rose Blossom in Chai tea. I will try that. Love Claire.

  7. Sounds great! You're really creative and I wish you luck with your new business. Why don't you market these herbal teas. I'm fed up of the few that the supermarkets sell, so boring and the health shops aren't miles better. Think about it.
    Good luck,