My husband and I drink a cup of rooibos chai almost every evening. We always have enjoyed drinking an herbal or otherwise non-caffinated warm drink together each night to wind down, but once I started blending my own chai, all of the other tisanes have paled in our estimation! This winter, we’ve hardly touched any other tea for our nighttime cuppa.
What I like about blending my own chai is that I can use the high quality and organic spices I favor in the quantities I like. When you make in bulk, you can always tweak as you go along — adjusting for how your particular spices are interacting. I know this blend I just made is a little light on the cardamom pods because I only had about an ounce of them, but I can always add more later. Gosh I love cardamom! The other great thing is that I leave the spices whole, and crush them with my mortar and pestle just before brewing. It only takes a second, and the intensity and freshness in flavor is dramatic!
I wish I could give you an exact recipe, but each time I make it, it is different. Here is what I put in it this time — and I’ll try and estimate the quantities of spices!
Rooibos – 16 oz
Sweet cinnamon sticks — about 8
dried ginger root – about 1/4 cup
pink peppercorns – about 3 tablespoons
black peppercorns – about 3 tablespoons
whole cloves – lots! Mmmm cloves! maybe a half cup?
whole green cardamom pods – about an ounce (I had half of my 2 oz jar left…so sad)
If you are not feeling avant-garde, there are lots of good chai recipes on the internet that list exact proportions. I do encourage you to play, though! If you hate pepper in your chai, leave it out! If you love cinnamon, double it. I sometimes cut up a vanilla bean and include it. I’m wondering if I should add some anise — better try that first with one portion to make sure we like it. In short, make it yours.
If you are wondering where to get nice spices, I patronize Penzey’s and Mountain Rose Herbs (MRH has organic rooibos, too). I stored my blended chai in tea tins that I reused from previous purchases, and in a mason jar — I normally don’t store teas in clear glass, but this will live in the back of my cupboard away from light, and I’ll use it to refill the tins as I go.
This is a long way of saying that I used some tea coupons! Here is how I’m thinking of the calculation:
16oz tea = 8 coupons (gasp!)
My husband drinks half of the chai! So I should only be charged 4 coupons, dontcha think? The good news is that this amount of chai should last us quite awhile (but I said that to myself when I blended up about 8 oz of chai in November…). All in all, a wonderful use of tea coupons.
Here is a tally of coupon use so far:
Clothing: 66 out of 66
Soap: 32 out of 36
Tea: 6 out of 10