Molokai Chai (via the monasteries in Nepal)

I always say that I leave a piece of my heart on Molokai, a sleepy island of old-Hawaii, where a beautiful yogi, Karen Noble, taught me to make chai from whole spices. Whole spices are the key. This brew is far better than any thing available in a store. I often make a generous batch of brewed spices, which acts as a concentrate and stores well in the refrigerator for more than a week.  It is easy to re-heat and add green tea, black tea, or yerba mate, to small batches and sweeten and cream as desired.

Chai is a blend of spices, typically accompanied by black tea, served sweet and creamy, from the Himalayan region of Asia.  There are many variations on the theme, most of which include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger.  I add fresh vanilla bean or extract, star anise, which has a lovely licorace flavor, and black pepper corns for a spicy kick.

Yields: 1 quart of concentrate


Chai Concentrate:
4-5 (3-inch) sticks cinnamon, broken roughly
1 vanilla bean, split in half, or 2-3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 whole nutmeg, chopped coarsely
6-8 whole cardamom pods (whole seeds may
3 whole star anise, broken roughly
2-4 tablespoons finely shredded ginger (ginger-lovers: add more!)
3 black peppercorns, bruised
3 whole cloves
pinch sea salt
6 cups filtered water

Steep with tea- bags or loose tea:
Black tea, green tea, white tea, yerba mate, or without tea at all!

Sweeten with:
maple syrup, organic sugar, raw honey, agave nectar

Cream with:
Soy Milk or Soy Creamer, Fresh Almond milk, or any kind of milk!


In a large saucepan on medium stockpot, place all spices and water.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes to 1 hour.
Strain. Brew may be simmered longer to reduce volume and concentrate flavor.

Steep tea for 3-5 minutes and strain.
Sweeten to taste and add creamer of choice.

Note: Spices may be used again for a second batch, reducing the water by half.


drink and be merry.


Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Tagged:   gluten-free plant-based recipes vegan comfort food