If you are looking to replace your morning coffee with a healthier ritual, chai is a wonderful option! The taste is creamy and smooth, the aroma is unbeatable, and after just one cup – your mind will be awakened, your mood will be uplifted, and your energy will be sustained. Chai contains less caffeine than coffee, and because of the digestion-promoting spices involved, the caffeine is processed better, providing you with energy that is balanced and sustaining.
This traditional Masala Chai recipe is a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and creamy. By using a high-quality black tea along with fresh spices, you will create an irresistible brew that is sure to bring you motivation to get out of bed each morning!
This recipe is fairly balanced and can be enjoyed by any body-type; however, it can be too heating for some Pitta types and too stimulating for some Vata types. It is further recommended to avoid any and all caffeine for anybody that is experiencing high levels of anxiety, chronic or severe sleep disturbance, hyperactivity, or severe restlessness. In these situations, a caffeine-free Chai (get recipe here) will be a much more appropriate alternative!
Masala Chai Recipe
- Doshic effect: Vata↓*, Pitta↓*, Kapha↓
- Makes: 4 – 8oz cups
- Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
*Please avoid if this recipe is too stimulating for your Vata or heating for your Pitta.
- Medium sauce pan
- Measuring spoons and cups
- 2 cups whole milk or unsweetened almond milk (use almond milk for Kapha types)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons finely minced or grated fresh ginger (add extra for more spice!)
- 8 teaspoons loose leaf black tea or 8 teabags of black tea (I enjoy Assam black tea)
- 1/4 teaspoon hulled cardamom seed, whole
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, whole (add extra for more spice!)
- 10 to 12 cloves, whole
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise pods (if available)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons honey per cup (optional)
1. Add the milk and water to a medium size sauce pan, cover, and place it over high heat. Bring the liquid to just below a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
2. As you are waiting, begin to prepare the spices.
3. Mince or grate the ginger into fine pieces. The finer the grating the more potent the flavor will be! Add the ginger and black tea to the pan as it warms up.
4. Place the cardamom, black peppercorns, and cloves into a clean spice grinder. Pulse about 10 times to create a coarsely ground spice blend*. If a spicier flavor is desired, the spices can be ground into a fine powder.
*If a spice grinder is not available, a mortar and pestle or blender can be used.
5. Once the liquid has come to just below a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the freshly ground spices along with the cinnamon sticks to the pan.
6. Steep on a simmer for 15 minutes. The pan should be covered, allowing a slight crack in the lid to avoid any overflow. Stir every 5 minutes.
7. Strain the tea and serve into mugs. Once the chai has cooled to a drinkable temperature, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey (if used) per 8 ounce serving.
8. Any extra chai can be stored in an airtight glass jar and refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days.