5 cinnamon sticks, 3 inches in length (preferably ceylon)
10cardamom pods, lightly crushed
3inchepiece of fresh ginger, sliced into coins
1/2of a vanilla bean
2-3tablespoonsblack (or green or rooibos) tea
3tablespoonssweetener (honey, agave, jaggery and sugar all work)
1 1/2cupsmilk or milk substitute (such as almond or coconut milk)
In a large saucepan, combine all of the spices with 6 cups of water. Bring to a bare simmer, reduce the heat, and cook at a bare simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the tea, and let steep for 10 minutes. Add the sweetener and milk and warm over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher or measuring cup.
Drink hot, or cool and store in the fridge for up to a week. Warm as needed, or drink chilled.
For an extra-spicy variation, you can cover and steep the spices for up to 2 hours after they've simmered for 30 minutes. Reheat the infused water, add the tea, and proceed with the recipe. I recommend using ceylon (or "true") cinnamon here – they have a more subtle, fruity flavor that lets the other spices shine, whereas the cassia varieties tend to take over more.Nutritional values are based on one of six cup servings.