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Chai, the Caffeine Free Way


Post by community member:


I love chai. I once had a huge cup of really good chai from a Starbucks at a rest stop somewhere in Pennsylvania on the way back from Philly to Indiana. It was delicious. It also had so much caffeine that I could have run beside the car all the way across Ohio. Oh. My.

I generally don’t need artificial stimulants to keep me going. Ever. I tend to be a bit like the energizer bunny by nature. Also, I’m hyper-thyroid. Caffeine is something I avoid.

Unfortunately, real chai is made with black tea. Black tea is full of caffeine.

A dilemma. I love chai. I hate caffeine. So I made it my mission to brew a terrific chai without the tea.

And I did. It’s fabulous. If I do say so myself.

You make it as mild or strong as you like and as sweet [or not] as you like. I designed it so you can keep it for a while and make it a mug full at a time as you need to. Brew some for yourself and sit back for the rest of the weekend and soak up some calm to get you through the next few weeks.


How to make Robin’s Caffeine Free Chai: Printable

This will make two quarts of chai.

1 star anise
20-24 whole cloves
12-14 whole alspice
2 heaping teaspoons of broken cinnamon bark [or thereabouts]
12-14 whole white peppercorns
6 green cardamom pods, opened so the seeds can come out
2 inches ginger root, sliced
1 quart of water
1/4 cup sugar [or more to taste]

Put all the spices in a pot with the water and simmer for 20 minutes or so.

If you like it mild, then strain the spices out. Add the sugar and add enough water to make a full quart. To serve, add equal parts chai and milk to a mug. If you’re not using it all right away, then keep the extras in the fridge in a jar.

If you like it stronger, then leave the spices in the brew. Pour it into a jar and add the sugar. Add enough water to fill up the quart. Keep the jar in the fridge. It’ll get stronger as it sits. When it’s good and strong, I put 1/4 cup of the brew in a mug, add a 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk, then nuke it all until it’s good and hot.

Robin from Rurification blogs at Rurification.

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Posted by on December 4, 2011 | Permalink  

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5 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 12-4

    Robin, chai is one of my favorite drinks. I have to try this, but where do you get your cardamom? It is like paying the national debt here to buy. I usually make a recipe I have for it with artificial sweetner, I like it better, I don’t need the calories.

  2. 12-4

    Hi lisabetholson! I get my cardamom from a local place with great prices, but they don’t mail. I know you can get some mail order through Anyone else have a good resource?

  3. 12-5

    I get my cardamom from the local health food store, which has a good selection of bulk spices for making Indian food. Have you tried health food stores?

  4. 12-5

    No there aren’t any that I know of out where I live. I’ll have to look online. Thank you

  5. 12-5

    If you have ethnic stores/markets, they might carry it. Asian, African, etc.

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