It is probably not too surprising that chai is an absolute essential ritual for my fall and winter mornings. With its ability to warm the body and soothe the soul, I have been an avid chai drinker for many years. However, I am extremely sensitive to caffeine, and although I may partake on special occasions, it is definitely not good for my super-sensitive Vata, especially during this Vata-provoking time of year. Luckily there are several herbal tea options that make chai equally as delicious and even more calming on these cold, cold days.
This particular chai recipe uses red rooibos tea as a caffeine-free base to complement many warming (and delicious!) Ayurvedic kitchen spices. It offers multiple options for milk to fit your dietary needs, is loaded with antioxidants, and carries a wide range of health benefits. Drinking this tea during the cooler months will keep your digestion strong, increase your metabolism, stimulate your circulation, awaken your mind, and boost your immune system throughout.
Caffeine-Free Rooibos Chai Recipe
*Kapha types should substitute dairy milk with hemp or almond milk
- Medium sauce pan
- Fine mesh strainer
- Ginger grater (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups organic whole milk* (substitute with almond milk or hemp milk)
- 1 teaspoon hulled cardamom seed, whole
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, whole
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed, whole
- 7 to 10 black peppercorns, whole
- 7 to 10 cloves, whole
- 3 tablespoons red rooibos tea
- Fresh ginger root (2 inch cube), finely chopped or grated**
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 teaspoons honey, divided
**Fresh ginger can be replaced with 1 teaspoon of dry ginger
1. Place the water and milk in a medium sauce pan and heat to just below a boil.
2. Place the cardamom, fennel, coriander, black peppercorns, and cloves into a spice grinder and grind for 30 seconds or until a course powder is formed. A blender can be used if a spice grinder is not available.
3. Once the water and milk are hot, reduce the heat to low and add in the freshly ground spices, rooibos tea, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer, mostly covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
4. Strain into a tea pot or four individual cups, using a fine mesh strainer.
5. After the tea has cooled a bit, add 1 teaspoon of honey per 8 ounce cup.
6. Share, sip, soothe, and enjoy!