Blog

Homemade Rooibos Masala Chai Concentrate

Rooibos Masala Chai Concentrate

Nepal 001.JPG

Finally the snow is falling again in the little town of Fernie and the cold snap is over!  There's nothing better on a winters day than a homemade Chai.  I fell in love with Chai when my family went to India and Nepal for my Mom's 60th birthday.  We trekked through the Himalayan Mountains as a family and sipped on many-a-chai together.  The "starbucks" in India is a man in a tiny "storefront" (the size of a closet) making chai over a potbelly stove. It is served with milk and sweetener. The milk is raw, right from the holy cows that roam the streets freely. The spices and herbs that make this grounding and fragrant tea can vary but are based on cardamom, ginger and local Indian and ayurvedic spices.  The reason I don't call it chai tea is because chai is the hindi word for tea, so chai tea translates to tea tea. Masala is hindi for "mixed spice". So Masala Chai is: mixed spice tea.  

Masala Chai is traditionally made with black tea.  Black tea has a high caffeine content when steeped as long as this recipe.  I am very sensitive to caffeine so I substituted the black tea for the caffeine free rooibos tea.  Rooibos, pronounced ROY-bos, meaning red bush, is grown in South Africa.  According to Natural News, Rooibos is better for you than green tea!  It brews to a beautiful red colour and adds another benificial herb to this tea.  

Make this before a dinner party and it will fill your kitchen with a warming aroma.  Serve warm as an apres! Om Shanti.

Rooibos Masala Chai Concentrate

  • 4½ Cups Water

  • 10 Rooibos tea bags (or 10 tsp of loose leaf tea)

  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks or ½ tsp cinnamon

  • 3 Coin Sized pieces of Ginger, smashed

  • 10 Cardamom Pods, crushed

  • 2 Whole Star Anise Pods

  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

  • ¼  tsp fresh ground nutmeg

  • 1 tsp orange zest

  • 15 whole cloves

  • ½  tsp Vanilla Powder (1 Tbsp Extract)

  • ¼ Cup Honey or stevia, to taste (optional)

Bring water to a boil.  Add spices, (and vanilla powder, not extract) and tea, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let steep for an additional 10 minutes.  Strain entire mixture in a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth and add sweetener and vanilla extract if you didn’t add vanilla powder. Pour into a 1L mason jar or other airtight storage container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Alternatively, the concentrate may be frozen for up to six months, so consider freezing the concentrate as ice cubes to reheat in single size portions. Serve cold with nut milk in a ratio of 1:1 or hot heat 1/2 cup Rooibos Chai Concentrate with 1/2 cup almond milk and enjoy thoroughly.