South African Chai and traditional Koeksisters

South Africa is the birthplace of Rooibos, or “red bush” tea. It grows in the Western Cape province of South Africa and has been a traditional drink of the area for generations.

If you have never tried Rooibos before, you may be surprised by the flavour. Unlike caffeinated black tea, Rooibos does not go overly bitter with a long steep. Some would describe the natural flavour of Rooibos as earth and caramel; I would agree with this description. Rooibos has a natural creaminess to its flavour and therefore takes very well to milk. Did I mention it is caffeine free? So if you are looking to lower your caffeine intake, or looking for a good night time drink, Rooibos may just be your answer.

To make South African chai the “real” way, you need to throw all you know about tea brewing out the window. A kettle and a 4 minute steep will not give you the depth of flavour expected of traditional African tea. If you want to try it the traditional way, here’s what you’ll need to make enough tea for 4 people:

A stove top and pot (or flame and billycan, if you are preparing outdoors)

A fine strainer 

8 teaspoons of tea with chosen spices (we prefer ginger, cardamom and black pepper)

4 cups of water

2 cups of milk

Honey to taste

How to prepare the tea for a strong, spicy and milky chai:

  1. Place the water and tea with spices into the pot and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the milk and stir until it heats up, uncovered.
  3. Once the tea comes to a simmer, remove from heat to settle.
  4. Put the tea back on the flame and bring to a simmer again.
  5. Remove from heat and allow simmer to settle.
  6. Strain through a fine mesh or cloth strainer and serve alongside honey.

You can get our all natural and organic South African Chai here

If you are looking for the perfect sweet to serve alongside your South African Chai, we found it! Meet South African Koeksisters. These plaited sticky donuts have the most delicious lemon-cinnamon-ginger sauce you’ll ever taste and the flavours pair perfectly with the tea. Don’t believe me? Try the recipe here: South African Koeksisters


It is still winter here in Melbourne, so cosy up with a spicy chai and treat yourself to a traditional South African afternoon tea time. Enjoy!!


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