How to make Ethiopian "Chai" (Ethiopian Spiced Tea)

The culture of Ethiopia is rich and diverse, and one of its unique aspects is its traditional tea, or "chai". Ethiopian Chai is a soothing, aromatic beverage steeped in history and cultural significance. Although Ethiopia is often recognized worldwide for its coffee - the country is the birthplace of coffee, after all - it's equally important to note the deeply rooted tea culture within the country.

This Ethiopian chai is a beautiful infusion of flavors and aromas that offers a delightful alternative to your regular tea or coffee. Made with a combination of spices, typically including cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom pods, it often does not accompany the coffee ceremony, which is a separate cultural ritual. Instead, this chai is typically consumed during breakfast, often alongside traditional dishes like "Firfir". However, it's not limited to morning hours - this beloved beverage can be enjoyed throughout the day, often accompanying desserts or simply as a soothing drink at any time.

Tea, including this spiced chai, is frequently consumed in households but also plays a significant part in the popular café culture, particularly in Addis Ababa, the country's capital. Additionally, Ethiopian chai spice blends can be bought in local Ethiopian food stores for those who wish to enjoy this flavorful experience at home.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 1

Nutrition Profile: Low in calories, source of antioxidants

How to make Ethiopian "Chai" (Ethiopian Spiced Tea)



  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ Ethiopian tea spice blend (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated



Step 1
Start by bringing a cup of water to boil in a small saucepan.

Step 2
Once the water is boiling, add the Ethiopian tea spice blend. If you're using whole spices, crush them slightly before adding to release their flavors more effectively.

Step 3
Grate the fresh ginger into the boiling mixture. Ginger adds a refreshing, spicy kick to the chai. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. This process allows all the spices to infuse into the water, creating a rich, aromatic tea.

Step 4
After simmering, strain the tea into a cup to remove the spices.

Step 5
Stir in the honey, adjusting to taste. Honey not only adds sweetness to the chai but also contributes to its soothing properties.

Step 6
Your Ethiopian Chai is now ready to be savored. Enjoy it warm, and let the spicy, sweet, and aromatic flavors transport you to the heart of Ethiopia.

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