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"KukiChai" -- A Spiced Green Tea Chai Blend and "Simple Saturday Sipper"

Posted Jan 02 2010 2:01am
I was craving chai and decided to make a blend using the kukicha tea I have been drinking lately. Kukicha or "twig tea" is a Japanese green tea blend where the twigsstems and stalks of the green tea plant are slow roasted repeatedlygiving it a slightly earthyroasted flavor. It is considered to be very balancing to the system and to contain antioxidants. (I have made and posted a couple of other drinks with itsee here and here). The result was this tasty "KukiChai" a perfect spiced tea blend and "Simple Saturday Sipper" served warm with almond milk. Haven't tried kukicha? I buy mine at Whole Foods or my local natural foods store. If you can't find itany roasted green tea will work.

"KukiChai" Tea
by DebKahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 3 cups plain or 6 with milk)

3 cups water
2 star anise
6 green cardamon pods crushed and split open
10 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces
8 white peppercorns
5 whole allspice
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp powdered ginger or 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
1 tsp dried orange peel
4 bags kukicha or other green tea
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp honey

Bring water to a boil and add all spicesboiling for 1 minutes. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Return spiced water to just at a boiladd tea bagsremove pan from heat and simmer about 4 minutes. Strain out the spices and tea bags then add vanilla and honey.

When ready to drinkget your favorite cup or glassadd the tea base to the warm milk of your choice (I used an unsweetened almond milk). Proportion milk to your taste (for this I did half chai to 1/2 almond milk). To make iced chaicool chai tea mixture after adding vanilla and honey and add to a glass of iced milk of your choice.

Notes/Results: It hit the spot perfectly. Although chai is usually made with black teathe roasty flavor of the green kukicha tea pairs wonderfully with the spices. I find bruising or crushing the hard spices slightly in a mortar and pestle (or in a ziploc with a rolling pin!)before boiling them helps add the most flavor. As I am avoiding dairy as much as possible currentlyI used an unsweetened almond milk for my chai and the honey lightly sweetened the blend. I loved it hotbut saved a cup to try over ice and it was equally as good. You can play around with the spices and amounts adding more or less depending on personal taste. I will make this again.

Happy Saturday!
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