I’m sorry if I am the first to say this… honestly I am really sorry but Christmas is fast approaching and its time to start thinking of what to get people. Family, friends, neighbours and co-workers sometimes the list can be endless and expensive. So I have set myself the challenge to see if I can help you and me come up with some lovely homemade Christmas presents. Sometimes a lovely homemade gift can be just the thing to give someone to show them that you care.
Now for my first idea, Chai Tea Mix, why this you may ask? You see my brother-in-law is not a coffee drinker, I know weird or what? He will partake in hot chocolate, which I have already covered in a previous post and is seriously worth checking out as it’s a lovely rich thick hot chocolate. But back to this Chai Tea Mix.
Stored in a small jar with a tea infuser that can be bought cheaply and maybe a small jar of nice honey, if you know the person who you wish to give this to has a sweet tooth it can make a lovely gift. You could even use a small festive tin if you wished. Presented all together with a simple instruction card the tea lover in your life would really appreciate this gift.
And its all so quick and simple to make, most of the spices are pretty common place and easily obtained from your local supermarket. The only thing you may have to shop about for a little bit is the red peppercorn’s, but don’t panic if you can’t find them just substitute them for black ones. This will still give the tea it’s distinctive flavour just a touch more peppery and you won’t have small red flecks through it. But it will still taste divine.
You are going to need green cardamom pods, red peppercorns, fennel seeds, whole cloves, a cinnamon stick, chopped candied ginger, star anise and some loose black tea. I used an all round bold loose-leaf tea English breakfast as I find you need a tea that can hold its self against all the spices. All you need to do is toast the spices for 5 minutes in your oven to fully bring out their flavour, as an added bonus your kitchen will smell like a spice souk! Let them cool down then crush them lightly with a rolling pin or lightly grind them in a pestle and mortar add the tea and mix.
You want your tea to have a few chunks in it; I personally think it makes it look more attractive. I didn’t have the strength to crush my cinnamon stick up much so I just broke it into four pieces and popped it in with the tea
It’s also easy to make, boil your water, steep your tea for 5 minutes heat up your milk and add to your tea then add any sweeteners you may want. Sugar or honey if you prefer.
So go ahead and make this for the tea lover in your life. Included in this post is a small instruction gift card. Please feel free to use it, I am no graphical master (as I am sure you can tell!) but please use it if you wish.
- 12 green cardamon pods
- 1 teaspoon red peppercorns, (black ones can be used)
- 1 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick 4 inches in length
- 3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
- 2 whole star anise
- 40 grams loose black tea (I used English breakfast), (1/2 cup)
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4
- Split the cardamom pods in half and place them on a dry baking sheet.
- Add the rest of the spices to your baking tray and pop them into your oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool, around 15 minutes.
- Crush your spices lightly using a rolling pin or a pestle and mortar if you have one.
- Mix the spices with the tea and pop them in a small jar and seal. This mixture will stay fresh for around three months, after that it will start to loose its flavour.