26th June 2019


The Spiced Tea Blend I share today falls somewhere between chai tea and golden turmeric milk. It is a combination of warming spices with the hero ingredient being fresh ginger root that warms from the inside out.

The spice blend is prepared as a concentrate and can be made with or without tea, depending on the mood. In the morning, a little caffeine from black tea is good, while the calming nature of rooibos (red bush) is valued in the afternoon or evening, or when making tea for my young people.

The spice tea blend also makes an excellent addition to Ginger “Tea Dunker” Biscuits read on for more…

* Baked risotto with pumpkin seed parsley pesto
* Weeknight fish curry with fiery carrot chutney
* Hearty Lamb Goulash with Bay Leaf (or Horopito)


The spice blend can be made from pre-ground spices, but for best flavour, I prefer to make it from whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom seeds and cloves), and grind them in a mortar and pestle. Try to get your hands on Ceylon cinnamon, sometimes called true cinnamon, which has a far superior taste to the commonly used cassia variety.
Servings 16 cups of tea
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh turmeric root or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mild honey (I used local bush honey)

To make – per mug of tea:

  • 1 heaped teaspoon Spiced Tea Blend
  • 1 teaspoon loose black tea or rooibos red bush, or 1 teabag
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • A large splash, about 50ml, creamy whole milk or dairy-free milk


  • Make the Spiced Tea Blend by combining the ingredients in a small jar, grinding the whole spices first if using. If the honey is thick, soften it first by sitting the honey jar in a bowl of hot tap water. Keep the tea blend in the fridge and use within one month.
  • To make a mug of warming tea, put the Spiced Tea Blend, tea, water, and milk in a saucepan, and heat until foaming.
  • Note, if using dairy-free milk, be careful not to boil as it can curdle, instead heat until steaming. Use a tea strainer to pour into a mug, sip and enjoy. Multiply the quantities as needed to make for more people.


The addition of chestnut flour in this recipe is inspired by a ginger and chestnut cookie made by my neighbour Annette, who runs the sweetest weekend food caravan on our street. Chestnut flour can be found at Mediterranean food specialists and New Zealand-grown (Canterbury) flour is available online from Golden Fields.
Servings 24 cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes


  • 100 g room-temperature butter
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Spiced Tea Blend*
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup or rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon molasses or extra syrup
  • 1 cup standard white flour or gluten-free flour
  • cup chestnut flour or wholemeal flour (or almond meal/flour)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Grind of black pepper

* Or use two heaped teaspoons finely grated ginger and ½ teaspoon mixed spice


  • In a food processor, combine the butter, spice blend, sugar, syrup, and molasses until creamy.
  • Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Add to the food processor and mix briefly until the mixture comes together in a ball. Tip on to a sheet of baking paper (or beeswax wrap), and shape into a 5cm x 20cm roll. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Slice the roll into 6mm rounds and arrange the biscuits on a lined baking tray (cook in batches if needed). Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden. Cool on a rack then store in a biscuit tin.
  • These ginger biscuits are best dunked into a steaming hot mug of Warming Spiced Tea.

Join the Conversation

  1. Catherine Musgrave says:

    Just made my first batch of spiced tea blend and it won’t be the last! It is soooooo good. This will be the perfect pick me up when I get home from work.
    I love ginger so the biscuits will be next on the list. Not sure where I can get chestnut flour but wondered about ground almonds

    1. Hi Catherine, great to hear. I love the warming spices at this time of year and makes tea a little more special when it is cold outside.
      Ah yes, ground almonds will be just fine. I will add to the recipe. I order chestnut flour online from Golden Fields in Canterbury, a bag lasts for ages as you only use a small amount at a time.
      Enjoy 🙂

  2. These both sound delicious! I was wondering – what would be the best option to make the cookies dairy free? Cheers:)

    1. Hi Rosie, I haven’t made this specific recipe dairy-free before. You could try either coconut oil or a dairy-free spread. Something that will help hold the cookie together once baked.
      Enjoy, Nicola

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