I must admit, I’ve become a bit of a tea snob in the last year. I never ever buy tea bags anymore (unless it’s just plain black tea to make kombucha). Where I work, we make our own organic tea blends and have made some really delicious mixes. I’ve started experimenting with some simple ones at home and have come up with this Cinnamon & Vanilla Chai Tea. It’s a little bit spicy and has a good kick of cinnamon. You can add some soy or nut milk like spelt or almond to make it rich and creamy.
This is also a base for a great traditional chai tea. Just take out the vanilla, add in loose leaf black tea and the quantities of each ingredient need to be slightly adjusted to taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and make a blend that you will love to drink all the time. There are so many great health benefits from these spices used. Here’s a list of just a few from each ingredient:
Cinnamon – loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammateries, helps to lower blood sugar levels and protects against cancer.
Cardamom Pods – helps with depression, aids digestion, has detoxifying effects, lowers blood pressure and helps with mouth ulcers and infections in the throat and mouth.
Star Anise – aids with respiratory tract infections, helps to treat the flu, assists with digestion, is an anti-fungal and for women it helps with menstruation and increasing the flow of breast milk.
Cloves – a well known antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and also offers temporarily relief from tooth aches.
Ginger – probably one of the best known facts about ginger is its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known for relieving nausea, morning and motion sickness. Ginger is one of my favourite foods to cook with. I use it in everything!
Peppercorns – aids digestion, helps fight against infection and insect bites, assists with tooth decay and tooth aches, and improves weight loss.
Vanilla – a powerful anti-microbial, increases mental health and it promotes healthy skin as it’s a good source of vitamin B. Vanilla also assists with digestion, improves dental health and helps to regulate period cycles for women.
As you can see, a lot of these spices have many similar health benefits and have many more that I’ve not listed today. You can’t go wrong with having this combination at least a few times a week! You will feel better and it’s wonderful that it also tastes great!
Here’s the recipe!
- 10 cardamom pods
- 10 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 inch piece ginger, sliced thinly
- ½ a vanilla pod, cut in half and seeds scrapped out - use it all
- 1 star anise, broken into pieces
- 4 peppercorns
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 4 - 5 cups boiling water
- Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring the water back to a boil.
- Stir around until the sugar dissolves and lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- You can add some milk here if you want it creamy, but I like it just like this.
I sometimes also reuse the mix for another round of tea as it keeps the flavours for another steep. Just add a little more coconut sugar if necessary.