Recently I posted a photo on my instagram about my own chai mix, saying that this is my favorite blend. Why am I so fond of this herbal blend? Since it is a really warm and spicy drink, it warms your body from the first sip you take. The flavors feel autumnal, a bit spicy with a pleasant sweetness. It really is a drink that gives my body a boost.
I posted the chai mix on instagram because I was really craving a few weeks ago. I was suddenly really hungry for a chai latte and I wanted to make it. But this only raised more questions. How do I actually make this mix? Where does chai tea actually come from? And once I want to know something, there is no other option than to investigate. That’s the only way to really find out everything.
Where does chai come from?
Officially this tea is called masala , but to most people it is better known as chai. Chai originated in India, Tibet, Pakistan and Nepal. Chai simply means *tea in the languages of this region. This tea has been drunk for thousands of years by all the different communities and religions of South Asia.
In the last 30 to 40 years, Chai tea has found its way into our Western culture. The tea slowly gained popularity outside of Asian circles. First in Australia, then also in the US and Europe. There are plenty of places to order a chai these days, but many restaurants and eateries still pretend it’s a very special drink, something that can’t be found everywhere. What many people do not yet know is that it is not that difficult to make chai yourself. Later in this post I will tell you how you can make this delicious and healthy mix yourself to create your own boost!
Is chai healthy? And what does it consist of?
But first, we need to talk about what this tea does to your body. Many of the herbs in chai used to be (and still are) used for their healing power.
Ginger is a root and a panacea. It is often used as a home remedy for colds, flu and other inflammations, but it also helps digestion as a remedy for nausea and stomach cramps. Ginger purifies your body, keeps it supple and can strengthen your bones.
Cardamom is good for people with lung problems such as asthma or bronchitis. It’s good if you have a stuck cough, and like ginger, it aids your digestion and can relieve the feeling of a bloated stomach.
Cinnamon, which is actually a piece of tree bark, can easily become overpowered if you use too much of it. Most people now know the story that you cannot eat a teaspoon of cinnamon without coughing. But did you know that cinnamon also has beneficial effects on your digestion? In addition, it stimulates your kidneys, has good effects on your blood pressure and gives your heart a boost! It is also useful that cinnamon opens your alveoli, so it is always useful for a cold.
Clove, the dried unopened bud of the flower of the clove tree, stimulates the intestinal function. Moreover, it also ensures healthy gums and fresh breath. It also has a beneficial effect against colds and coughs. And can also soothe toothaches if you make oil with it.
The black pepper should not be missing in your chai mix. Of course you already know this herb because it is often used to spice up your food. But pepper is also good for giving your digestion some extra strength. It boosts metabolism and can help protect the body against parasites.
Star anise brings the sweetness to the chai. The flavor of anise collapses the spicyness and bitterness and adds sweet aroma and flavor. Like cloves, it helps for fresh breath, and like cinnamon, it helps with colds and opens the airways.
Nutmeg is usually used as an extra seasoning in your béchamel or spinach. This herb contains vitamins, B1, B3, B6 and B9 and minerals that are a useful addition to your normal diet. Vitamins B1 and B3 contribute to your energy and nervous system, among other things.
And now finally the recipe …
Chai is made differently by everyone. Many people have their own mix, which they developed themselves or received from their grandmother as an original old recipe. But one thing is certain: A cup of chai tea is healthy, as long as you make it yourself and do not add too much sweetness.
The chai as I make it in this recipe uses a lot of spice powders. This is because I still had those powders lying around and wanted to use them, and because when I made this chai I didn’t have a spice mill to grind and mix fresh herbs.
For the mix
- 3.5 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons of ground ginger
- 5 teaspoon of ground cardamom
- 1/2 tablespoon of ground pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 star anise whole
For one cup of chai
- Black tea
- 1 teaspoon of your chaimix
- Honey or agave syrup
Preparation of the mix
The best thing about this spice mix is that you probably already have most of these herbs at home. You only need to make the mix once in this amount to have enough to make chai for a few weeks. I always make a nice large amount so that I can go ahead for a while and make chai whenever possible.
Ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom make up the flavor in this mix. It can sometimes be a bit difficult to get the taste exactly the way you want it. The most important trick is to avoid using too much cinnamon and to add the cinnamon last.
Do not add sweeteners. When I didn’t really have a good kitchen, I always bought pre-made chai mix. This one had the good taste, but it was clear that it didn’t contain the good ingredients, and that a lot of sweetness had been added instead. Now I can happily make the mix myself.
If you store the mixed spice mix spice mix in an airtight container you can keep it for a long time. But keep in mind that herbs will always lose their flavor over time. It is therefore best to use up the mix within a few weeks.
Preparation of the chai
Fill a tea egg with black tea and let it steep in warm milk.
Then stir in a tablespoon of the chai mix and then add some honey or agave syrup.
You can also make the mix without using tea. Then the chai is completely caffeine-free. How crazy is that?
Besides drinking, you can also use this chai spice mix for all kinds of other things, such as lattes and pies and other types of pastries. Soon I will be sharing some of these recipes on the website. If you bake a cake with this chai mix, no one can walk past the oven without taking another deep breath and enjoying the scents.
I can’t wait to make my new chai mix of all dried whole herbs with my new mill! I am very curious about your experience with chai tea, share it with me and or your feedback or recipe below!