Rooibus Chai

Rooibus chai leaves, which are grown in South Africa, resemble tea leaves but come from a different plant and don't have any tannins. They have recently made an appearance on store shelves here. You can substitute black tea in this recipe; add it during the last 5 minutes of simmering. More Brunch Recipes

Rooibus Chai
Photo: © Antonis Achilleos
4 servings


  • 4 cups water

  • 2/3 cup whole milk

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 teaspoons cardamom pods, lightly crushed

  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves

  • 2 quarter-size slices of fresh ginger, lightly smashed

  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons loose rooibus tea


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pale rust colored, about 20 minutes. Strain the chai through a fine sieve and serve hot.


One Serving Calories 49 kcal, Total Fat 1.3 gm, Saturated Fat .8 gm.

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