When you need a bit of spice
Spiced honey chai has rich warming sweetness.
Chai 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.
Chai 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Remove the seeds from the inside of the cardamom pods by peeling away the outer green paper shell.
- Lightly crush cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or flat side of a knife.
- Toast crushed spices and fresh ginger (if using) in a medium pot over low heat until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
- 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.
- Use a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain the honey into a jar after 2-3 minutes of cooling.
- Cover with an airtight lid. This honey mix can be stored in a dark, cool space.
- 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.