Masala chai

by Angela Clutton

Angela Clutton shares her recipe for making this much-loved spiced, warming tea at home

The humble cup of tea is elevated to wonderfully spiced and warming levels when you make your own blend with flavours balanced to suit you. This one has a bite from peppercorns and a citrus lift from coriander seeds. For more on how herbs and spices can be used to make your own delicious teas, read my latest instalment of Lateral drinking. 


12 green cardamom pods
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
Seeds from 2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, broken up
6 tbsp loose-leaf black tea
6 tea bag filters

To serve: hot milk


Crush all the spices in a pestle and mortar. Mix with the tea leaves. Spoon evenly into the tea bag filters, then store those in a tightly sealed jar (or alternatively, store the loose masala chai mix in a jar ready for use.)

To brew masala chai: immerse 1 bag per person in a cup’s worth of half hot water, half hot milk. Leave for a few mins. Sweeten to taste.