African Tea Recipe
1 part water
1 part milk
Spices or herbs of your choice such as ginger, lemongrass, tea masala, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or black pepper
1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves or 1 tea bag per cup of tea
sugar to taste
- Mix milk and water in a pot.
- On high heat, bring the water and milk mixture to a boil.
- While the mixture is heating up, add your chosen spices and herbs to taste.
- Once the mixture boils (watch it closely so that it does not boil over), turn off the heat.
- Add tea leaves to the pot, cover, and let the tea steep for a minute or two until it is of your desired strength (you can judge this by color).
- If required, i.e, if you used loose tea or spices/herbs that must be removed from the tea before drinking, sieve the tea into a tea flask or tea pot, or else simply remove the tea bags and/or spices or herbs that need to be removed.
- Pour your tea into a cup.
- Add sugar to taste, and that’s it.
Drink and enjoy!
What Tea Leaves Should You Use to Make African Tea?
I have been making African tea for over thirty years, across many countries and continents, and I have used countless brands of tea—some African others not—to do this.
The most important thing is to be sure to use black tea, though you can use whichever brand is readily available to you.
Some African tea brands that I use again and again, and particularly enjoy, include:
And, now let me tell you a little more….
I come from a people who are truly committed to their tea drinking.
On my mother’s side of the family, every time is tea time. I am sure some of you, my readers, can relate to your mothers being this way too. 🙂
Do you now know what I am talking about?
Some call it chai, others simply refer to it as “African tea”.
I was never a tea drinker until very recently.
A few years ago, an incident involving my drinking two cups of tea in quick succession was reason enough for my aunt to ask me if everything was OK.
She couldn’t remember having ever seen me drink tea, let alone having two cups in quick succession. (Incidentally, something was bothering me that night which might have been the reason for the strange occurrence.)
When I was a little younger, I often told my aunts, “Let those who drink complicated drinks make it for themselves.”
I never understood their constant need to be drinking tea.
Frankly, neither did I understand why it was worth the hassle for me to make it for them.
Now, I know better.
Strange as it may seem, I have become a convert of African tea.
The temperature of the tea also has to be just right.
Nothing but the hottest tea will do for me unless I am extremely desperate. 🙂
I love the burning sensation of the hot tea as it goes down my throat!
So…how exactly does one make a good cup of African tea?
To this question, I am sure there is no right or wrong answer—everyone has their own recipe for perfection.
All I would like to do here is share my recipe with you, and then you can tweak that to come up with one that’s just right for you.
Either way, the basics are pretty much the same.
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Recipe for African Tea
A 1-to-1 ratio is the balance I have learned to strike between having very milky tea, which can be quite calorific, and tea that’s too watery, and therefore plain not delicious.
While my milk-and-water mixture is heating up, I walk into my garden and pick a few leaves of lemongrass which I then wash and crumple into the mixture.
I love spicing my tea with lemongrass!
Once spiced, I let the mixture come to a boil while keeping close watch so that it does not boil over.
I then switch off the heat from my mixture in preparation of adding tea leaves to it.
According to my mother, boiling tea leaves affects their taste negatively. (After many years of not believing her, I now know exactly what she means.)
This measure has served me well for the most part but may need to be varied depending on the type and strength of tea being used.
I then let my tea brew covered for a minute or two.
My tea is ready for consumption.
I add sugar to taste, and that’s it!
Are you a tea lover?
If so, is there some special mode of preparation that you use when making your tea? Let me know by leaving me a comment below.
In the meantime, here is a video of someone who does it a little differently than I do but still makes essentially the same kind of tea spiced with ginger.
I think it’s time I go fix one.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Until the next time,