The Spread of Serious Chai Tea: 220 Volt Chai

Tea so chic, spice so nice

| August/September 1998


Unique spice combinations provide an extra kick to this chai tea.

Photo by manthatcooks/Courtesy of Flickr/

220 Volt Chai
Sheron Buchele

Serves 4 to 5

This is a “stay-up-all-night-writing-that-presentation-and-then-go-sell-it” chai. It’s an “oh, my stars, I’ve got three days’ work to cram into the next five hours” chai. It’s a boot to the head and a bite to the tongue.

• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1 tablespoon chopped gingerroot, or
• 1/2 teaspoon dried, cut-and-sifted
• 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
• 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
• 1 teaspoon allspice
• 1 teaspoon dried Siberian ginseng
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 whole star anise
• 3 cinnamon sticks
• 3 cups cold water
• 1 heaping tablespoon strong black
tea leaves
• 2 cups milk
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Sugar to taste

1. Bruise or crush the spices in a mortar and pestle. Simmer them with the water in a saucepan, tightly covered, for 10 minutes.

2. Warm a teapot with hot water, pour it out, add the tea leaves, and strain the hot spice water into the pot. Cover the pot with a towel or tea cozy and steep for 4 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the milk to just below simmering. Off heat, add the vanilla.

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