When you need a bit of spice

Spiced honey chai has rich warming sweetness.

hot honey chaiChai simply means tea. Originally from India, the spiced chai latte many of us are now familiar with is a combination of black tea and masala chai spices simmered with milk and sweetened with honey.

With green cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon and other spices, honey chai is a rich, fragrant brew and welcome treat, especially in dark, cold times.

The spices in chai and the properties of honey are known to have some lovely soothing effects when you have a sore throat or feel under the weather; perfect for this time of year.

honey chai spicesChai tea is simple to make, and it infuses your home with an intoxicating aroma while it’s brewing.

We’ve got a couple of recipes below. One for a vanilla chai latte and the second for a chai honey syrup that can be stored and added to hot black tea and hot milk or stirred into cocoa – and a little bee told me it can even be added to coffee, wine and smoothies.

For a morning kick-start, you can drizzle it on a fruity bowl of porridge or for an inspired treat, toss it through raw nuts before roasting.

Vanilla Honey Chai Tea Latte

This vanilla honey chai latte is sweet, a little bit spicy, and gorgeously aromatic. The vanilla extract and freshly cracked black pepper may sound a bit odd, but it’s a beautiful thing.

Relax and enjoy winter with a mug of rich honey milk steeped with cardamom, ginger, toasted spices and black tea.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 black tea bags or about 1/4 cup loose black tea
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom OR 6 whole cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon OR 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or about 3cms fresh ginger peeled & thinly sliced
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup Kamahi Honey
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together the water, tea, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the pepper, salt, honey and milk. Bring back to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Strain through cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve into mugs. You can even top with whipped cream or more ground cinnamon.
  3. If you like a little more sweetness in your latte, just add more honey. When making for a crowd, I leave the jar of Kamahi Honey on the table so folks can adjust the sweetness as they like.

Spicy Chai Honey

This is a great way to really enjoy honey and you can store the honey mix for a couple of weeks, well you can try. Actually, it can probably be stored for even longer than that, but it has never been possible at our place – all gone!


  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger or 1 tablespoon of freshly minced ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper or peppercorns
  • 1/8 teaspoon of star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or about 1/3 teaspoon of whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup Kamahi Honey 
  • fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth


  1. Remove the seeds from the inside of the cardamom pods by peeling away the outer green paper shell.
  2. Lightly crush cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or flat side of a knife.
  3. Toast crushed spices and fresh ginger (if using) in a medium pot over low heat until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Combine the spices with the honey and bring to a boil. Be careful that the heat is not too high or the honey will scorch. It will come to a boil in about 1 minute. It will be frothy and very HOT! Boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Use a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain the honey into a jar after 2-3 minutes of cooling.
  6. Cover with an airtight lid. This honey mix can be stored in a dark, cool space.
  7. Occasionally stir the honey, mixing the spices thoroughly.

Add 1 tablespoon of chai honey to 3/4 cup hot black tea and 1/4 cup milk and enjoy! This honey syrup is wonderful in tea or coffee, but also on waffles, toast or drizzled on fruit salad with a bit of lime, or just get creative.

Check out our raw NZ honey. It’s lovely, pure honey!