Cha Cha Chai

Anti-Inflamatory Blend

Flavor Profile: Spicy
A mild chai with added chaga mushroom and turmeric. Red raspberry leaves are used in place of black tea. Caffeine-free, anti-oxidant, immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory, and full of vitamins.

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This is one of my most popular teas. It takes a little more work than most of them because you will have some toasting and grinding to do. But the aroma from the toasted spices will fill your kitchen with unbelievable fragrance (who needs incense?).

The recipe is below, but I felt this one required some explanation. You will be using a mix of ground and powdered spices. Some ingredient measurements are done pre-grinding, and others are measured post-grinding. Some of these herbs may not be in your spice cabinet. You can find them at Mountain Rose Herbs. Starwest Botanicals and Frontier Herbs are also herbal sources (and you can find them on Amazon).

Herbal recipes are measured in parts. When I make a big batch of this tea (about 8 cups), I use 1/4 cup as my “part.” But that’s a lot of tea. You can choose a teaspoon or a tablespoon as your part.

I save peels from organic oranges and cut them into small pieces for drying. You can let them air dry on a plate or non-lint towel like a tea towel. I keep a jar of the dried peels and keep adding to it. I also do the same with organic ginger, grating it before drying it. I prefer using that to ground ginger in this recipe. If you use ground ginger instead, try using less. You can always add more. In this recipe, the orange peels should be ground before measuring. Same with the ginger, if your dried pieces are large. Don’t ground either to a pure powder (although you’ll wind up with a mix of powder and chunks when grinding).

It’s more accurate to measure out the total chai spice blend you wind up with before you add the red raspberry leaves because the ratio should be 1:1, and the grinding of the spices affects the resulting volume and can vary each batch you make. I loosely grind the spices. It’s okay for there to be chunks.

The red raspberry leaves are a black tea substitute but caffeine-free! Plus, they have lots of vitamin C. This is probably my favorite of all the tea recipes I created (it’s a tie with my goodnight tea). I looked at many chai recipes online, learned the key ingredients, and started playing. I love making teas! Also, not all chais are created equal, and I like this blend of spices. It’s spicy yet mellow if that is even a thing.

I use a tea infuser for brewing. You will wind up with some of the chai spices in your cup from the powdered spices slipping through the netting. If you don’t like that, you can buy disposable, biodegradable tea bags or a reusable one (which will get stained from the chai spices). You can find all kinds of brewing tools at Mountain Rose Herbs.

I’ve included some photos so you can see the progression of the tea ingredients.

Fun Fact: did you know that the word Chai means tea? So, to call it Chai Tea is calling it Tea Tea. Funny. I guess we’ve just decided to give spicy blends of tea the Chai label.

Cha Cha Chai

Ingredients

  • Toast:
  • 6 parts Cinnamon chips

  • 4 parts Green Cardamom seeds/pods

  • 2 parts Fennel seed

  • 1 part Cloves, whole

  • 1/2 part Black Pepper, whole

  • Add:
  • 4 parts Ginger, dried (If using ground ginger, add less, to taste)

  • 1 part Turmeric

  • 1 part Nutmeg

  • 1 part Dried Orange Peel, ground (Grind first, then measure)

  • 1 part Chaga Powder

  • And also:
  • 22 parts Red Raspberry Leaves (Approximately, see step 4)

Directions

  • Mix the first set of ingredients. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the herbs and stir often, as the spices toast up and become fragrant. (This can take awhile if toasting a large batch.) When done, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • While herbs are toasting, add the second group of herbs to a large mixing bowl and mix.
  • Once cooled, roughly grind the herbs in a blender or spice grinder. Ddd the ground herbs to the bowl and mix them in with the others.
  • At this point, measure the amount of herbs you have blended because you will be adding an equal amount of red raspberry leaves to the bowl. Mix well to incorporate.

Notes

  • The first time through this recipe, I recommend using a tablespoon as a part. If you are using green cardamom seeds without the pods, you might be able to use a teaspoon, but the bulkier herbs will be hard to measure that small.

I love chai cover photo by René Porter on Unsplash

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