I love a good cup of tea, and spiced tea is among my favorite hot drinks to sip on in the morning or after a hearty meal. Masala tea is tea made with Indian spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, star anise, among others, and is quite popular in East Africa. It is delicious, warming and has a really pleasing aroma.
The amount and number of spices varies as per one’s preferences. Here is one of the ways I prefer mine.
This is a Kenyan style of making tea. We prefer loose tea leaves that are then boiled or steeped in boiling water, add the milk then sieve into a tea pot. If using ground spices, some people add them as you boil the water and others just before adding the milk. Nothing is cast in stone, you can play around with different ways to get the flavour and taste you want.
For the spices:-
I like using whole spices, as I am able to mix according to the desired flavour profile I want. Having whole spices on hand is also great as you can use them in many other recipes and grind up as needed. Just ensure you do not buy too much and they are stored in an airtight and dark place so they do not lose their potency.
There are two ways you can use your spice mix in the tea. One, you may opt to grind them into powder from with a coffee grinder or your blender’s grind attachment, then use them in powder form. . If this is your preferred method, keep the ground mixture in an airtight container in a cool dark place to keep it fresh. Two, you can prepare the spices as you need them, just enough for the amount of tea you want to make. You can crush the spices roughly by hand using a mortar and pestle similar to the one in the below picture and use them immediately. Either way, ensure you lightly toast the spices a bit so they can release their aroma and oils before using them.
Toast the whole spices but make sure they do not burn, do it lightly enough to just let them release their aroma. Crush them roughly in the mortar and pestle, then add to a saucepan with a teaspoon of the loose black tea leaves and 1-2 cups water. Let the water come to the boil slowly, do not rush it. Let it simmer for a while.
Once ready, sieve into a pot, pour into your tea cup and it is ready to serve.
If you like your tea frothy, you can use a frother or pour it from one pot to the cup several times till it gets frothy when you pour it into the cup.
The tea is best served piping hot. Let the steam envelop you as you take the first sip. The aromas and taste are heavenly.
This is one cup of tea you do not rush through. Each sip is chock full of flavour and warming.
Have it as it is, or with some cookies, or some mandazi. Either way, the tea will leave you wanting more at every sip.
Other teas I like making are lemongrass and ginger, rosemary and ginger, lemongrass and cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon, and turmeric and ginger. Ginger is a favorite as it aids digestion, can help fight infections as well as many other benefits. I usually buy a lot, clean and chop into thumb size pieces and keep in the freezer in a zip lock bag. It lasts a long time this way. I store turmeric root the same way.
I will do a full list of my favorite spices and herbs and their benefits in my 2021 posts.
You can also check out my other preferred spices and condiments here. https://mykampalanotebook.wordpress.com/2020/11/27/my-pantry-essentials/
Try a cuppa and let me know if you enjoyed it.