Masala chai, also known as chai tea or chai, makes a great gift when packaged in pretty containers. Or place your homemade chai mix inside a zipped plastic bag and present it inside a vintage tea cup and saucer.
Chai tea is wonderful as a hot drink with milk or served black and chilled over ice in summer. Try Bernadette Hogg’s aromatic chai mix.
On a baking tray place 24 split cardamom pods, a teaspoon each of pink and black peppercorns, a couple of tablespoons of fennel seeds, a teaspoon each of whole cloves and coriander seeds and 4 cinnamon sticks. Bake for 5 minutes in a moderate oven. Cool then lightly crush the spices and toss with 1 cup black tea leaves and a few tablespoons of chopped crystallised ginger. Package into bags with a note to infuse 1 tablespoon in half a cup of boiling water, top with hot milk and sweeten to taste with honey.
Experiment with different herbs and spices to taste. You could also add dried orange peel, dried calendula petals, star anise, dessicated coconut, and organic vanilla powder (available from health food stores). And for the chocolate lovers, add in cacao nibs too.