tea-free “chai”


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Happy October friends! Even though it’s still 100-plus degrees here most days, we are still doing everything we can to bring a little ‘fall’ to the Middleeast. I have my fall decor up, there is a pumpkin candle burning most days, and we are even having a chili cook off in a couple of weeks with some of our ex-pat neighbors.

Plus, we’ve been drinking fall-ish drinks like it’s our job. In fact, yesterday evening I smelled something amazing wafting from the kitchen. As my husband made his way to the living room with a mug in his hand my heart did a little jump: homemade chai. We love chai around here and really, there is nothing that screams “fall” like chai. The girls really wanted some, but seeing as it was already late in the evening, I didn’t think tea was the best option, so I whipped up this tea-free chai for them and they LOVED it. Keadryn even asked for some for breakfast.


2 cups milk (we use boxed milk, but you can certainly use fresh!)
1 cup water
2-3 TBS honey (more if you like it really sweet)
6-10 cardamon pods (most grocery stores will carry this, but if you want it for much much cheaper try a middle eastern/asian market)
10-15 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
ground cinnamon (for garnish)

Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. reduce heat and let simmer for several minutes. The longer it simmers, the stronger the flavors will be. I do about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Strain into mugs to remove the seeds and cloves.

Add a bit of frothed milk (or whipped cream) to the top if you want to be fancy, if not just sprinkle with cinnamon and serve!

This recipe is perfect as a hot cocoa alternative for kids or if you don’t like tea or coffee but just want something warm to drink on a cool day.

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  1. OMGoodness! I just read that you are in the Middle East. I just moved to Saudi Arabia a month ago! Which country are you in? I love your blog!

  2. Just made this for the first time tonight…sipping it now! It’s lovely! I live in Africa, doesn’t feel like fall here either, but this helps! Thank you

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