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Red Rooibos Chai Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


An image of Red Chai made with rooibos.

Naturally caffeine-free Red Chai is made with rooibos (or "red bush tea") instead of black tea.

Marko Goodwin
Red Chai is a fantastic rooibos chai recipe from The Tea Spot. It's also the winner of the October, 2010 About.com Monthly Tea Recipe Contest.

Judge Chris Cason of Tavalon noted that caffeine-free rooibos is a natural fit for masala chai spices and said, "The spices were very clear, thanks to an overnight soaking, and the flavor of the tea to the spices was well balanced."

Side note -- Although the level of sweetness in the recipe is great for those who usually drink coffeehouse chai, Chris, guest judge Jesse Jacobs of Samovar Tea Lounge and I all preferred the recipe with less honey.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Steep time: 10 hours

Total Time: 10 hours, 10 minutes


  • 1.5 tsp (8 grams) whole cloves
  • 2 tsp (8 grams) fresh cardamom pods (or 1 tsp ground cardamom)
  • 9 heaping tbsp (18 grams) chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (50 grms) Red Rooibos tea leaves
  • 1/4 cup (4 tbsp or 4 oz) honey (I recommend starting with 1 tbsp honey and adding more to taste if desired)
  • 2 cups milk


  1. Steep spices in 8 oz boiling water. Marinate overnight in fridge. Strain out spices from marinade.
  2. Steep rooibos tea leaves in 2 cups boiling water for 6 minutes. Strain out leaves.
  3. Add honey and strained spice mix marinade to Rooibos tea.
  4. Heat milk to just below boil.
  5. Combine with tea and marinade.
  6. Serve immediately.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Delicious!, Member nordicmolly

I'm on day 3 of no caffeine and was desperate for chai so I made this without steeping the spices overnight. I also left out the fennel (can't stand that stuff) and didn't use any honey but it's still very delicious!

0 out of 0 people found this helpful.

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