Golden Sunshine Healthy Chai

By Risa Salsberg, Hollyhock Chef

Every time I make this Golden Chai, it’s different according to the day, the weather, the stories and feelings of the moment. I improvise from this basic recipe. Be creative, enjoy the process of making something unique!

This recipe truly is a general recipe that will give you the very basic groundwork needed to make your own unique dairy-free-healthy-warming-your-soul chai tea.


  • 4 – 5 Cups of Water
  • 3 – 5 of your favourite black tea bags (depending how strong you want it) The tea can be caffeinated or not.
  • 7 Tablespoon of Honey, or Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar (choose your sweetness)
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1-2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1-2 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric, or use fresh if you like!
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Topping (optional) grated fresh nutmeg

Note: use organic ingredients whenever possible. I personally love the spices from The Gathering Place as their products are incredibly delicious, organic, fresh, and of the highest ecological values. It is important to support local business – the Gathering Place is all of the above and more.


  1. Bring water to boil then turn onto simmer.
  2. Add the tea bags. Let tea bags steep for 4-5 minutes, then take them out.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for as long as you desire so the flavours and richness deepens.
  4. Taste…. balance the flavours according to your inclination. Continue this process until it makes your soul shine.
  5. Optional to add to this golden pot: 6-9 cup Coconut Milk or Soya Milk, or milk product or cream of your choice. Frothing the mixture adds to the richness if desired. Grate nutmeg on top of your mug. Add more sweetness if needed.
  6. Fill a mug or two, sit near a window and gaze out at the world… Sip and savour life.

Risa Salsberg has been preparing this Golden Chai and serving it alongside her edible creations of breakfast and lunch feasts at Hollyhock. In the 2017 season alone, Risa and the fabulous kitchen team have served more than 2000 guests. As well as her culinary arts, she is also an established artist and illustrator.  

Explore her chef-lineage and path of culinary studies at
And enjoy the beauty of Risa’s visual artwork at

Photo credits:
Chai photos by Amanda McNaughton
Illustration by Risa Salsberg
Portrait of Risa in her studio, by Gem Salsberg

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