Do you love chai tea but the caffeine doesn’t love you?
I can’t do caffeine, so I was excited when my friend and personal trainer Sarah Lewis told me about her recipe for Lavender-Vanilla Chai tea. She then whipped up a cup for me, and oh, my, the taste was heavenly!
I know there are other tea enthusiasts out there who would love the caffeine free version of chai, so Sarah happily agreed to do this video tutorial with me. You can watch below, but keep reading for the recipe.
Customize Chai Tea
One of the fun things about chai is that you can customize the recipe to your taste. The book that I mention in the video is Healing Herbal Teas: Learn to Blend 101 Specially Formulated Teas for Stress Management, Common Ailments, Seasonal Health, and Immune Support by Sarah Farr (note: the link is an affiliate link for Amazon.) I have this book and in it she has nine different chai recipes!
Sarah uses lavender as her base, and it makes a very fragrant, lovely tea. Lavender is a relaxing herb, so drinking a cup of this lavender chai is a wonderful way help your stress melt away. In addition, the spices that make up chai have so many wonderful health benefits. They are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, warming, and carminative.
Note: Sarah likes her tea very spicy, so adjust the amount of spices to your own taste. Also, she likes to bring the milk mixture to a boil, but other chai recipes call for simply warming the milk mixture so that you don’t scald it. I would recommend trying that first because then you can probably avoid the “film or casing” we mention in the video.
Lavender-Vanilla Chai Tea
Try this fragrant, dessert-like caffeine-free chai tea.
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 3/4 inch of fresh ginger root
- 8 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 star anise
- pinch freshly ground nutmeg
- pinch black pepper grated
- 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract per cup)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 cup whole milk (or your choice milk)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried lavender flowers (add up to 2 tbsp)
Pour the filtered water in a stainless steel or ceramic pan and add the first seven ingredients. Put on the lid. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain this chai mixture concentrate and set aside. Add the vanilla bean (which you have mushed in a mortar and pestle enough to release the vanilla flavor) to the concentrate and infuse for 2-5 minutes. Strain this out.
Add the milk and lavender flowers to another saucepan, put the lid on, and warm without boiling. Turn off heat and strain the flowers out.
Fill your cup about 2/3 to 3/4 full with the chai mixture. Add the lavender milk mixture. If using vanilla extract, add that now.
Top with Half and Half if desired. Sweeten with honey or other sweeter if desired to taste. Enjoy!
The concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
You can reach Sarah Lewis via her Facebook page if you would like to schedule a personal training session in the Indianapolis area. She is also available for Skype personal training sessions if you are long distance.
Let us know if you try the recipe and any of your favorite chai “modifications.”