When the weather turns cold I start to make chai tea more often, and when I actually have a weekend afternoon at home I make a big batch and drink it by the bucket (or in the this case my Clifton Hill Pottery cup/bowl). The spices used in chai are antioxidant rich, good for your digestion and anti-inflammatory plus cinnamon helps modulate blood sugar levels, ginger is anti-microbial, chilli is an analgesic and anti-bacterial, cardamom and star anise relieve flatulence while black pepper helps increase gastro-intestinal enzyme secretion and the absorption of a number of nutrients including curcumin (found in turmeric). I do tend to go a bit by “feel” when I make this so feel free to make your own adaptations but do try to make a note of what you do for when someone asks you for your recipe! Here is my version –

This is the amount for one person/cup:

  • 1 heaped teaspoon black tea leaves or 1 tea bag (I often use Rooibos or a decaf Ceylon)
  • Grind the following in a mortar and pestle
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1cm cinnamon quill
  • 6-8 pieces kibbled ginger# or a small knob of fresh ginger chopped up (if it’s organic you can leave the skin on)
  • Couple of chilli flakes
  • 1-2 twists cracked black pepper
  • 2 pieces star anise


  • decent sprinkle of turmeric

Put the ground spices and tea in a coffee plunger/tea pot with approximately 200ml boiling water, steep for 5 minutes or a tad longer. Pour into a cup until 2/3 full then fill the remainder with warm milk of choice. 

OR – you can make it in a saucepan on the stove top. Boil tea and spices for a similar amount of time, you just want to warm the milk through though, not bring to the boil on the stove. Alternatively, as with the tea pot add separately warmed milk to your cup.

OR – I usually make 6 times this amount (plus a couple of extra everything for the pot) in the Thermomix blitzing the spices for a few seconds then adding 1200-1300g boiling water. Have the blade running backwards, heat at 100, for 5 minutes. Then add 4-500g milk of choice (basically to the maximum fill mark), 1 heaped teaspoon honey (if you like) and reheat to 70 degrees for 2 minutes. This makes enough for 4 large mugs and a couple of top ups or you can reheat and drink it throughout the day. 

P.S. Made with Rooibos which is naturally caffeine free it is perfectly fine to drink before bed.
# kibbled ginger can often be found in Asian grocery stores but if you have fresh ginger use that.