Saturday, May 29, 2010


While last week's posting was devoted to The Writer's Life, this week's is about what keeps the writer alive - which everybody knows is tea.

My preference is for Indian Spiced Tea (AKA Chai).

For those who might like to enjoy it too, here is my recipe:


Spice Mix:
Ground cardamom seed x 2 sachets
Powdered ginger x 1 sachet
Cinnamon x 1/2 sachet, or break up two or three quills
Nutmeg x 1/10 sachet, or freshly grate around quarter to half of one nutmeg.

Other spices which may be added sparingly to taste include cloves, anise, vanilla, black pepper.
Mix the spices together as well as you can in a jar, then carry it with you wherever you go.


Madura black.

Full cream organic, Paris Creek or Macro the best in my opinion.

Any good natural unadulterated bulk honey, preferably bush and/or organic.

Filtered or rainwater.


Warm the pot. Spoon in the tea, 4 tsp to a medium sized pot. Should be strong - Orwell was correctly firm on this point. Add 1 tsp of your spice mix, then add water straight from the boil. Allow tea to draw for about three minutes before pouring. Add honey and milk to taste. Savour.

-Larry Buttrose

For those who have not read Orwell on the all-important matter of making tea, here is a link to his famous article on it. You will note that my recipe contravenes his Eleventh Commandment, so I'm a sinner for honey. I leave this to your palate, conscience and doctor.


  1. Nice post Larry, thanks for the info. I note the Guardian reviewed a new book this week "For all the Tea in China" about the history of the "theft" of tea from China to Britain. Sounds interesting?

  2. It does, thanks Rich. I'll keep an eye out for it, over the rim of my mug of tea!

  3. I cannot survive without my tea! and I'm very fond of chai - thanks so much for the recipe. Fiona xx

  4. Dear Larry, I have enjoyed your very nice spice tea for years and have tried to imitate it . But now with your advise
    it will be better.
    Thank you so much for this great gift.
    i must say that I am trying to convince all the coffee shops I go to to abandon the horrible Chai latte powder, full of sugar and powder milk.
    My local The European Bakery in Bronte road corner of Birrell street in Bondi junction make a nice spiced leaf tea and the best organic gluten free, sugar free desserts. My favorites are the ricotta brioche and the strudel .
    On another note while drinking you nice spice tea it is worth catching up the all the sydney writers festival talks on line especially about climate change.
    Tim Flannery , Ros Garnaud said visiting german scientists say any place in Australia even the very cold north east Tasmania has much more sun than Germany .
    But Germany has still 100 times more solar power installations than Australia. Are we so ignorant , yes and no , it is because the coal lobby has been telling us for years it not efficient enough!

  5. Marcaire thanks for this. Delighted you enjoy spiced tea, and as for solar power in Australia, it's a tragedy and a disgrace that our governments have not done more to tap this form of energy. Plants do it, why can we? (I'm working on a new piece on solar power, which I'll post sometime in the next few weeks.)