Some time ago, I lived in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan. One thing that I developed a taste for was matcha coffee, or まっちゃ (抹茶) in Japanese. It’s a blend of the bitter, bright green powdered green tea (famously used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony), espresso coffee and soya milk. It was delicious, the bitterness of the matcha works strangely well with coffee flavours. Unfortunately, I haven’t found it in coffee shops since I left in 2009, not even in China. But I have been experimenting with matcha ever since. This is a new one that I’ve been experimenting with and love, a type of Indian chai tea with matcha. A good quality matcha can be expensive, but it lasts for quite a while since because of it’s strong flavour you only to use a little. There are also modern organic brands available like Vitalife if you can’t get hold of some from Japan itself.
The quantity depends on your personal tastes, I just taste and tweak as I go along, the measurements are approximate. Pop the scored vanilla pods into the spice mix to release a subtle scent of vanilla. Store the matcha-chai spiced tea in a tightly sealed jar, ready for use. Of course, traditional Indian chai is sweet and matcha is very bitter so add your sweetener of choice, avoiding refined sugar. I like mine with a little drop of organic maple syrup.
Matcha green tea powder, 4 tbsp
Ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp
Ground ginger, 1 tbsp
Ground cloves, 1 tbsp
Ground nutmeg, 1 tbsp
Ground coriander, 1 tbsp
Ground star anise, 1 tbsp
Ground fennel, 1 tbsp
Ground cardamom, 1 tbsp
Garam masala, 2 tbsp
Whole star anise, 2-3
Vanilla pods, scored, 2
Maple syrup or raw honey, for taste or to soak and preserve
5 minutes + 5 minutes
1. Boil 1 cup of mineral water or non-dairy milk (i.e. rice or oat milk) with a little black tea (either a teabag or a teaspoon of loose tea) in a saucepan.
2. Add 2 heap teaspoons of the spice mix and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Remove or strain the black tea and add a drop of organic raw honey, maple syrup or agave syrup to your taste.
Soak and store your matcha-chai spice mix in a jar with honey or maple syrup, so it’s ready to use and richer in flavour.