Quality Control Measures for Wholesale Spice Grinder Manufacturers

Ensuring the quality of spice grinders is crucial for spice producers of all sizes – especially those who supply to the wholesale market. High-quality grinders affect everything from product freshness to food safety, customer satisfaction and reputation. With this in mind, understanding the various quality control measures put in place by wholesale spice grinder manufacturers is essential. Throughout the production process, wholesale grinders need to undergo multiple quality control measures to meet global standards. From testing to ISO certification, each measure is designed to deliver the highest level of quality.

Understanding Spice Grinder Quality Control Measures

Some of the quality control measures that may be in place when it comes to the manufacturing of wholesale spice grinders include the following:

Material selection and testing

The first step in quality control is the selection of materials. For grinders, this means choosing materials that are durable, food-safe and capable of preserving the freshness and flavour of spices. Manufacturers need to conduct thorough testing of materials for strength, chemical resistance and potential food safety issues. This ensures that the grinders do not impart unwanted flavours or chemicals into the spices they contain. Materials such as glass are typically used for jars, while PET bottles are used as an alternative for a lighter container. PET is also a material of choice for the grinders themselves, in addition to other BPA-free plastics, such as polypropylene or acrylic.

Design and functionality testing

The design of grinders has a direct effect on its function. Quality control measures include rigorous testing of the grinder’s mechanism to ensure it provides a consistent grind, which is essential for both cooking and seasoning. This testing often involves multiple rounds of adjustments to the design to improve ease of use, providing a variety of grind size and overall durability of the mechanism. As an example, push-pull and adjustable grinders have a different mechanism than standard grinders. These grinders need to pass testing to ensure that they function without jamming or pulling apart.

Manufacturing process controls

During the manufacturing process, strict controls are essential to maintain quality. This includes monitoring the assembly process to ensure that all parts of the grinder fit together correctly and function properly. Manufacturers use automated and manual inspections to identify and correct any defects that may be found in any part of the grinder mechanism. Regular process controls help to minimise variations in quality and ensure that every grinder meets quality guidelines.

Compliance with standards

Adherence to international standards such as ISO certifications, plays a vital role in quality control. These standards provide are designed for managing quality, covering all aspects of production, from raw material sourcing to final product testing. Grinder manufacturers that are ISO-certified can ensure a rigid commitment to consistent quality and continuous improvement in their processes. Audits and certification renewal ensure that quality is maintained on an ongoing basis.

Once grinders have undergone quality control, final testing is done to ensure that every grinder meets rigid quality requirements. To find out more about our range of premium ISO-certified wholesale spice grinders made to ensure quality control at every stage of production, contact Global Grinders.

4 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Wholesale Spice Grinder Supplier

Choosing the right wholesale spice grinder supplier is no small challenge. Rather than simply finding a supplier, one of the best ways to ensure that you get the best products at the best prices is to focus on finding a partner. A supplier that works with you to meet your specific needs, within your budget, is the best way to choose grinders, closures and bottles that align with your goals and brand. With a trusted partner who has extensive experience that is backed by a long-standing reputation, you can be sure that your customers get the best quality. This has a knock-on effect, ensuring that your customers are happy when purchasing your salt, pepper or seasoning.

Knowing what to look for when selecting a wholesale spice grinder supplier is important. But what about knowing when it’s time to replace your current supplier with a new supplier? In this guide, we’ll share the top signs it’s time to make a switch.

Top Signs You Need a New Wholesale Spice Grinder Partner

Some of the main signs that it’s time to find a new wholesale spice grinder supplier include the following:

You are noticing a difference in quality

Quality plays a vital role in the manufacturing of any product. For products within the food industry, such as grinder bottles and tops, products need to meet an extremely high standard of quality. If you originally started with products that were well-made, durable and high-quality, you may have assumed that this level of quality would remain the same. If you are starting to notice that some orders include products that are poorly made, it’s time to re-evaluate your supplier. Signs of quality lapses include flip top lids that break easily, bottles that do not feel strong, closures that don’t fit properly, spice grinder mechanisms that don’t easily grind or any other things that do not indicate a quality product. Letting quality slide can directly impact your sales, resulting in a loss of seasoning freshness and taste.

Your supplier has not been re-certified

Certification is another factor that needs to be considered. Having ISO certification is vital. That does not mean that certification is a once-off thing, however. To stay compliant, suppliers need to be re-certified at specific intervals to ensure that their certification stays updated. The certification process is complex, with many conditions that need to be met. Failing to comply with one or more of these conditions can result in suppliers losing their certification. This, in turn, can indicate that there are problems found at some level. This could be with the quality of the product, the manufacturing process, the food safety compliance or any other aspect of certification. Always be sure that your supplier is up to date on their certification.

You are finding it hard to communicate

A partner goes above and beyond producing products for the wholesale industry. Having a partner means being able to address concerns, speak to real people rather than automated chatbots, communicate any preferences or order notes that need to be addressed, and deal with any other support-related tasks. When you are not able to communicate your concerns or needs, due to a lack of support, a poor level of customer service or other barriers, it will be much harder to get the product you need, the order you need and the service you need.

Your supplier is not expanding their range

To keep up with consumer demand, it is essential that your supplier expands their range. If you produce spices for the retail industry, you may find that your customers are wanting smaller-sized grinders and glass bottles. You may find that there is a bigger demand for quality PET bottles with a smarter design than the average bottle. You may find that your needs are evolving, too. If you are launching a new range targeted at customers wanting larger bottles, you may need more variety. If you are in the corporate gifting industry, you may want a variety of options. Suppliers that do not expand their range will eventually be unable to help you expand your own range.

Making the move to a new supplier may seem stressful. When working with a trusted supplier with years of experience, the move is much easier. At Global Grinders, we have built a long-standing reputation, with a wide variety of fully certified products made to suit your needs and budget. To find out more about what we offer as a wholesale spice grinder partner, contact us today.

A Guide to Spice Grinder Shapes and Sizes

Choosing the right spice grinder for your needs is essential for many reasons. The right grinder needs to be suitable for the product you are selling. It also needs to be suited to your primary distribution market. Grinders sold in the retail industry will differ from those used in hospitality, for example.

Likewise, grinders used as promotional products or corporate gifts will be very different to those used in restaurants or hotels. Even within each sector, there are many variables to consider.

A large-scale spice producer selling seasoning in supermarkets will have more limitations on size and shape due to the need for products to fit onto shelves. A smaller producer selling seasoning in boutique stores, farmers’ markets or similar outlets with less stringent space requirements will have more variety in bottle size and shape.

While standard bottles and grinders are the most obvious choice for every type of spice producer, the wide variety of alternative sizes and styles can help provide a competitive edge for producers looking for something that is better suited to specific needs and audiences. In this guide, we will take a look at the main shapes and styles, to help you choose spice grinders that are just right for your products.

Choosing Spice Grinder Shapes and Sizes

When it comes to spice grinders, size matters. Style and shape matter, too. From mini promotional grinders to larger bottles used for hospitality sectors, the variety of grinders and bottles offered at Global Grinders ensures that there is something for everyone. Sizes and styles to consider include the following:


Small or mini grinders are compact and made to fit onto small glass bottles or PET bottles. Our selection of mini grinders includes fully adjustable push-pull grinders as well as our snap-on, non-removable grinders that are designed to fit our shapely 80ml PET bottles. Mini grinders are a perfect choice for promotional products, corporate gifts, camping, picnics, airline meals, samples, and any other instance that requires a minimal amount of seasoning.


Medium or standard grinders are the most commonly found type of grinder, sold commercially and used in restaurants, hospitality, corporate gifting, and many other sectors. Bottles in this size include our original glass and flared glass bottles, along with our tapered, straight, snap-on, dumbbell, rectangular, indent, round PET bottles and taller styrene bottle. We have a selection of grinders and flip-top closures to fit each type and size of bottle, ranging from teaspoon sprinklers, 5-hole sprinklers, 7-hole sprinklers, 8-hole sprinklers, 19-hole sprinklers, and dual sprinklers. Flip-top sprinklers for medium bottles include a choice of shape, such as mushroom and straight-top. Grinders across our range are available for medium-sized bottles, including In-Line Adjustable, Elegant, EcoGourmet, EcoGourmet Dial Adjustable, EcoGrind, fixed lid, EcoSmart, EcoLine, Classic, Gourmet, EcoElegant, and Chef’s Choice.


Large grinders are typically used in the hospitality industry – especially in catering sectors that require larger volumes of seasoning. Restaurants, hotel kitchens, school cafeterias, coffee shops, and various other businesses use these bottles as an economical alternative to smaller or medium bottles. Large bottles are typically made from PET. The Global Grinders large PET bottle range includes 325ml and 375ml flared bottles as well as large-volume capacity 1l rectangular and 1l indent bottles. Grinders designed for large bottles include EcoGrand made for the 375ml PET bottle, EcoClassic made for the 325ml PET bottle, and Large Faceted and Super Elegant for our large 1l PET bottles. Flip-top sprinklers for large bottlers include the Dual Flip Top Eco 4-hole & Spoon and the Dual Flip Top Grand 9-hole & Spoon for the 375ml bottle, Food Service Sprinkler for our 325ml and 375ml bottles, and XL Dual Flip Top for 1l bottles.

To view our full catalogue and learn more about our premium-quality wholesale spice grinders, contact Global Grinders and let us help you choose the best grinders, lids and bottles for your needs.

Health benefits of black pepper

Some foods are considerably healthier than others from a nutritional point of view and healthcare professionals and nutritionists consider certain foods to be extra beneficial, a case in point being black pepper. It is not only a useful flavouring element but a rich source of minerals and nutrients. Most of all, it’s easy to incorporate black pepper into your diet. If you are a fitness enthusiast looking to lose weight quickly, then you need to add black pepper to your daily menu.

Black pepper is a versatile product that stimulates senses, taste buds and affects many body systems positively. The thermogenic features increase the metabolism and strength and therefore boost physical and psychological capacity. There are plenty of benefits surrounding this spice and this is the reason why our ancestors had named it the ‘King of Spice’.

Used in Ayurveda Medicine

Ayurveda remedies frequently contain this seasoning for its health benefits. Black pepper, in combination with substances like castor oil or ghee, can be used as an appetite stimulant, a breathing aid and a cough therapy.

Good for Digestion

Raw black pepper releases hydrochloric acid in the stomach and thus aids digestion. Hydrochloric acid can help you clean your intestines and helps in barricading other gastrointestinal disorders. So don’t forget to add a pinch of black pepper to all of your food.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

The nutritional content of black pepper is far more diverse than you might think. The innocuous looking substance is known to contain a generous quantity of vitamin A and is rich in vitamins C and K. Other nutrients in black pepper include Thiamin, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Folic acid, Choline, Copper, calcium etc.

HELPS in Weight Loss

The wonderful spice helps to lose weight and you can add it to green tea 2-3 times a day. This is because the spice contains a rich content of phytonutrients that contributes to the destruction of excess fat. This increases the metabolism of the body as well.

Can aid in the prevention of Cancer

Black pepper combined with turmeric is believed to aid in the prevention of cancer. It can be consumed in the form of milk by combining with turmeric. The combination with turmeric adds antioxidants, vitamin A and carotenoids.

Treats Skin Problems

The “King of Spices” is said to prevent skin pigmentation (Vitiligo). A condition which causes white patches on your skin. Though there are many medicines available in the market to restore your skin colour, a simple remedy like black pepper can protect your skin from any sort of skin pigmentation and helps maintain the original colour of your skin.

So, for both taste and wellness, remember to add a little sprinkle of this wonderful spice to your meal. Make sure you only use the purest and most natural black pepper powder because it will not only make a tremendous difference to the flavour of your food but also to your health.

Why Choose Adjustable Spice Grinders?

As their name suggests, adjustable spice grinders can be set to provide coarse and fine grinds or control the dispensing rate delivery ie from minimum to regular and maximum particles dispensed. Unlike fixed grinder tops, this type of grinder offers more control by the user.

At Global Grinders, we offer a selection of adjustable grinders, including the following:

  1. Inline Adjustable. This grinder top has an inline design that gives it a straight, simple look. This grinder has fine and coarse grind abilities with a push-pull function. Its slim design allows it to fit on retail shelves universally in a space saving fashion.
  2. Elegant Adjustable. This grinder top has a rounded designed. It also features the patented push-push adjustment for alternating between fine and coarse grinds. This grinder is robust, and aesthetically pleasing,
  3. Eco Gourmet (Triple) Adjustable Dial. This grinder has a three setting mechanism. Providing the user the ability to control the dispensing rate between ‘minimum’, ‘regular’ and ‘maximum’ particles dispensed. This grinder has a clear lid to easily show the gear adjustment lever.

When would you select this type of spice grinder over a fixed grinder? What criteria should you consider when choosing adjustable grinders? Keep reading to find out when and how to select an adjustment grinder.

How to Choose Adjustable Spice Grinders

Ultimately, the type of spice grinder you choose will come down to how and where you plan to use your grinders. Customers purchasing grinders in bulk may be buying grinders to sell spices in the retail environment, for use in the catering environment, events environment or even in industrial kitchens. The type of grinder top to choose will, therefore, depend on the environment as well as your company’s individual requirements. It will also come down to the type of spice or herbs that will be used in the grinder. Some tips for choosing this type of grinder include the following:

Consider the type of spice or herb.

The spices that are suited to these types of grinders, include salt and pepper, both of which can easily be consumed as a finer or a coarser grind. Herbs or spices that are softer than salt and pepper will benefit greatly from the two or three stage adjustability. Offering the consumers the ability to choose between varying grinds will add greater value to the final packaged product

Global Grinders offer a wide range of grinders, in addition to our adjustable grinder range. View our complete range to find the spice grinders and bottles you need, all in one place.

Choose Your Salt Mills & Spice Grinders Carefully

If you have been considering exporting your salt, spices or seasonings it is essential to choose wholesale spice grinders carefully to ensure that your product meets international marketplace requirements. Seasoned spice blends, locally produced spices, unique desert salts and sea salts, herb mixes, pepper mixes and various other seasonings are popular worldwide.

Starting a Spice Export Business - Choose Your Wholesale Spice Grinders Carefully

How to meet the needs of a foreign market? Keep reading.

Spice and Salt Grinders must Meet International Standards

There are several guidelines that need to be taken into account if you plan to export salt, pepper or spices. The most important things to consider when choosing wholesale spice and salt grinders include the following:

ISO certification.

One of the simplest and best ways to ensure that your products will always meet even the most stringent of guidelines is ISO certification. Certification requires suppliers and manufacturers to achieve standardisation that is recognised all over the world. If you source spice grinders from an ISO certified supplier, you are essentially assuring customers that your product is packaged according to the highest possible standards.

Global Grinders (Pty) Ltd is FSSC 2000 Certified. FSSC 22000 is fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is based on existing ISO Standards. It demonstrates a company has a robust Food Safety Management System in place that meets the requirements of a products’ customers and consumers. 18.000+ organizations over 140 countries have achieved FSSC 22000 certification. With currently 110+ Licensed Certification Bodies and over 1,500 auditors worldwide, ISO’s mission is to provide a trusted brand assurance platform to the consumer goods industry.

Product freshness.

Products freshness is another way that you can show international partners, clients and investors that you are serious about providing the highest level of quality in protective packaging. Will your products be able to withstand the shipping process and retain freshness and flavour onto a stockists’ shelves?

Heat induction liners and pressure sensitive foam liners  will ensure that your seasoning, salt, pepper and spices will stay fresh during transit and on the shelf once your product has reached the final destination.

Diverse offering.

Another way to add value is to provide a diverse offering that caters to the unique needs of your target market. Depending on your target market consumer, you may choose to sell your seasoning in glass bottles or jars or PET bottles both of which are strong, durable options that present a message of premium quality. These containers are economical and practical.

Offering a range of bottle types and sizes along with a variety of grinders will allow you to stay flexible in competitive markets.

Global Grinders  www.globalgrinders.com has established a long-standing reputation as a trusted spice/salt grinder supplier. We have a range of adjustable grinders in either push-pull adjustable format or 3 setting dial adjustable which has a fine, medium and coarse grind setting. Some of our pepper grinders and salt grinders have Tamper Evident Ring-Pull Seals. There is also the option of snap-on non removable salt mills and screw-on removable spice grinders. Contact Global Grinders today to learn more about our wide range of spice grinders and salt grinders.

Let us assist you to find the ideal solutions for your product/brand needs. Call us on +27 21 7016788 or email us at global.grinders.enquiries@globalgrinders.com

Corporate Gift Ideas – Branded Spice Grinders

Branded spice grinders can be a perfect choice for corporate gifts. Better still, this gift idea is relatively simple to prepare. Global Grinders offers a wide range of grinders to suit every requirement, from larger sized bottles in glass, plastic and PET to tops and closures. We also provide ready to grind sets that have everything you need to get started. Once you have selected your grinders, you can prepare labels yourself or have some professionally made. You can then fill your customised grinders with delicious, fresh spices.

Corporate Gift Ideas Branded Spice Grinders

Branded Spice Grinder Tips for Corporate Gifts

As the year draws to a close, many companies are looking at simple, effective corporate gift ideas to present to customers. Simple gifts such as food and drink related items have a universal appeal. Some tips on how to use spice grinders for your corporate gifting include the following:

  • Choose the best quality grinders your budget allows. Glass grinder bottles will look better, last longer and be less likely to be tossed out. You can even make the bottles reusable by adding a note on how to remove labels by soaking them in hot water, baking soda and vinegar. Poor quality plastic bottles may end up sending your clients the wrong message; making your brand look cheap in the process. You can find good quality grinder bottle sets at Global Grinders in a variety of sizes.
  • If you do choose plastic, make it PET. PET bottles are easier to recycle, making them the best choice for plastic bottles. They are also sturdier and available in a range of sizes and styles. The PET manufacturing process is more sustainable than regular plastic, which in turn helps to minimise the carbon footprint of each bottle produced. Be sure to add a note reminding clients to recycle the bottles after use.
  • Try a set of mini spice samples. One way to stretch out your budget is to buy smaller sized bottles that can be used for mini spice samples. If your industry is within the food, hospitality or leisure markets, this can be especially effective. Shop for bulk spices at a quality spice market, filling each mini bottle with interesting, flavoursome spices. Your clients are far more likely to remember a tasty selection of spices that are cleverly packaged than a single salt or pepper that can easily be purchased at a supermarket.
  • Choose quality spices. Needless to say, even if you are purchasing spices in bulk at a local market, it is essential to ensure that the spices are high quality and fresh. There is little point to giving corporate gifts such as spice if they are not going to be enjoyed. Wherever possible, aim for whole spices that can be ground directly in the grinders. Supermarket spices often have additives or preservatives, which are never ideal, so stick to a decent spice merchant that specialises in wholesale spice.
  • Don’t shy away from cheesy puns. The aim of corporate gifts is twofold. On one hand, you are thanking your loyal customers for their service. On the other hand, you are subtly promoting your brand to maintain that loyalty. Puns may seem silly, but it can be worthwhile putting thought into clever labels that make people remember your brand. You don’t have to get carried away – keep it simple and light and your gift recipients should be suitably impressed.

To learn more about the range of spice grinders available at Global Grinders, view our product range or contact us today with any enquiries you have.

Delicious Salt Varieties to Enhance Any Meal

In addition to fresh whole spices, spice grinders can also be used for salt. With so many varieties of salt on the market today, we are no longer limited to regular table salt. Technically, the term used to describe a large percentage of salts is crystal salt. The differences in taste, shape and colour come from where the salt has been mined from land or sea. Table salts often have added chemicals included in their composition, while mined salts sourced from natural mines or from the sea are often considered purer.

Delicious Salt Varieties to Enhance Any Meal

While the debates will likely continue on whether or not ‘pure’ salts have any major benefits, what you can be sure of is that all salts have their own unique taste and their own ability to enhance your meals.

To help you learn a bit about what sales you can add to your salt grinder, we have put together a list on some of the salt varieties that are available in South Africa.

Add These Salts to Your Salt Grinder

Every foodie could do with some variety now and then, which is why it is always a good idea to invest in a few good quality salt grinders to store and grind your favourite salts. As for what type of salt you can choose from, we suggest trying some of these varieties…

  • Himalayan salt. Also known as pink salt, the current salt du jour is rock salt that comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan. The foothills of the salt range are located 310km from the Himalayas. Many crystals have an off-white or even clear colour, while the pink colour seen in this salt comes from impurities that are non-harmful for consumption. Coarse pink salt goes well with every type of food and has the added advantage of looking good in your grinder, too.
  • Sea salt. This type of salt is mined from the ocean, or from salt water lakes. There is very little processing involved in the production of this salt, which is produced through evaporation of sea water. Depending on where the salt water comes from, a number of trace minerals and elements are left behind, adding flavour and colour to the salt. Sea salt is available in various levels of coarseness, but even large chunks can easily be ground in a spice grinder. This salt is also versatile for cooking and meals.
  • Kosher salt. You may have heard this term before. Also known as koshered salt, this salt is an unrefined salt that has large, coarse flakes. This salt is extremely versatile and can be used for seasoning as well as cooking. There are many different varieties of kosher salt available, too, including sea salt and rock salt.
  • Desert salt. In South Africa, the desert landscapes of the Kalahari have revealed an ancient underground lake that is fed by subterranean streams. Salt water from this lake has been sustainably harvested and evaporated on a pan using natural processes. There are a few brands offering desert salt from this region – as long as the salt is harvested sustainably, they are all worth trying.
  • Other salts. While not all of these salts are mined locally, you may come across more exotic salts that have been imported into South Africa. Hawaiian salt is an unrefined sea salt mixed with red volcanic clay. It has an unusual pinkish brown colour that is produced by the red clay. This salt is not cheap however – and not all of it is authentic and produced in Hawaii. Another unusual salt is black lava salt, which is sea salt that is harvested and coloured with activated charcoal.

Whichever type of salt you love the most, keeping it fresh in a good quality spice grinder will ensure that it’s always ready to grind, whenever you need it.

Recharge Your Coffee With These Freshly Ground Spices

There are many ways to add flavour to your brewed coffee, and freshly ground spices are one of the healthiest ways to enhance a cup of java. If you are tired of the usual sugar and milk combination that you always stick to, try one of these spicy blends the next time you put a pot of coffee on the machine.

Recharge Your Coffee With These Ground Spices

For best results, use good quality ground coffee in a plunger or a machine. Grind your selected whole spices just before you start making the coffee, then add them to the ground coffee and make as usual. This will allow the spices to infuse into the coffee as it percolates, which in turn will ensure full flavour and aroma.

Best Whole Spices to Add to Your Coffee

Depending on your mood and taste preferences, you could choose to add any of the following whole spices to your coffee…

  • Cardamom. This exotic spice is frequently used for coffee in the Middle East. Commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, it is said to help neutralise the stimulating effects of caffeine. It also adds a delicious dose of flavour. Grind a few whole cardamom seeds and then sprinkle the powder into your coffee before brewing.
  • Salt. As strange as it sounds, many believe that salt helps to balance the bitterness of strong coffee. Of course, a good quality coffee that is made properly won’t be bitter, but freshly ground salt can maximise the flavour of coffee. It is said to be especially effective in cold coffee.
  • Cinnamon. Warm, delicious and full of flavour, cinnamon has plenty of health benefits, too. Try breaking up a stick and placing small chunks of bark into your spice grinder. You can then grind the bark directly over your ground coffee before brewing.
  • Cocoa or Cacao Nibs. For a dose of healthy chocolate goodness, try grinding cocoa or cacao nibs over your coffee before brewing. While not quite a spice, this raw chocolate makes an excellent addition to your coffee. Dried, fermented cocoa or cacao beans are crunchy with a nutty, less creamy flavour compared to dark chocolate. The nibs have many health benefits, and do not contain added sugars and preservatives.
  • Nutmeg. You can grate nutmeg directly over your coffee before roasting for depth and earthy sweetness, or prepare grated nutmeg in advance and grind the grated pieces after they have dried out. The warm smell of this spice makes it amazing, while the taste is sure to add an extra something to your favourite coffee blends.
  • Moroccan Blend. Cinnamon, black peppercorns, ginger, nutmeg, green cardamom and clove are used in a traditional Moroccan spice blend made especially for coffee. Prepare the spices by grinding before you start the coffee, or make a slightly large amount to have on hand.

Make sure that you have a selection of good quality spice grinders to grind and store your favourite spices. This will make it easier to prepare your own custom coffee blends using whichever whole spices suit your current mood.

How to Use Whole Spices to Make the Perfect Chai Blend

With winter on its way, spicy, warming hot drinks such as chai offer the best way to put your whole spices to use. While it is not hard to find pre-made chai drinks in the supermarket, making this drink from scratch using freshly ground spices will not only add more flavour, but will also give you the full range of health benefits offered by spices in their whole form.

Using Whole Spices to Make the Perfect Chai Blend

The best part is that once you have made your own chai blend, you are not only limited to using the blend for tea. You can also add to baked goods, your morning oats or over fruit and yogurt. These spices can easily be found in whole form at your local spice market or supermarket. Make sure that you buy them whole so that you can get the full burst of flavour.

Make Chai This Winter With Your Spice Grinder and Fresh Spices

Chai is an Indian drink that loosely translates to ‘tea’. The most popular type is masala chai, which means ‘mixed spice tea’. A blend of aromatic spices are combined with black tea (or Rooibos, for a caffeine-free version) and cooked in a pot or kettle on the stove. Spices traditionally used in this drink include green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger and black peppercorn. With the help of a quality spice grinder, and of course, fresh spices that are prepared for grinding, you can perfect the art of chai.

Some tips to keep in mind when preparing your own chai blend include the following:

  • Whole vs ground spice. It may be tempting to start with ready ground spices, but even if this seems easier and faster, it will have a major effect on the overall quality of the blend. Remember that ground spices lose a lot of their original nutrients and flavour. Many brand name spices sit in warehouses and on the shelves for long periods of time, and some have been treated with preservatives or radiation to maintain shelf life. Some brands even add flavouring to aromatic spices such as cinnamon, while others use a cheaper, lower quality spice to cut costs. Grinding your own is worth the effort, always!
  • Preparing the ginger. You could use slices of fresh ginger if you are making a small batch that is enough for one or two servings of chai. Ideally, you want to be able to keep your blend at least a few days. To prepare the ginger, start by drying it out. If you have a food dehydrator, use that. Otherwise, you could try placing grated ginger on a sheet and placing it in a convection oven set at the lowest temperature for a few hours. For a more traditional method, place the ginger somewhere dry for a few days. You could also try looking for already dried ginger pieces at your spice merchant (just be sure that no sugar or preservatives have been added). Once it has dried, you can try grinding if the pieces are fine and dehydrated, or you could grate larger pieces after drying.
  • Preparing the cloves. This spice is versatile and full of delicious flavour, making it suitable for a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes. In chai, cloves add a touch of sweetness, balancing the strong ginger, sharp peppercorns, warm cinnamon and full-bodied cardamom. You can grind cloves in your spice grinder fairly easily to release even more flavour. In addition to using this spice in chai, you can grind fresh cloves over your morning oats or add to curries, stews and soups.
  • Whole cinnamon vs ground. You could break up pieces of cinnamon and grind them, or place whole sticks into the chai to release the flavour more gradually. Always remember to ensure that you use pure cinnamon (preferably Ceylon, which is the best quality) rather than cassia (which is often sold as a poor quality substitute in supermarkets). Buying your spices from a dedicated spice merchant is the best way to ensure that you get the best quality spice to begin with – if buying from a supermarket, be sure to read labels carefully so that you know exactly what you are getting.
  • Other spices to add. Along with these spices, black pepper and green cardamom pods, you could also add some additional spices to enhance the flavour of your chai blend. Nutmeg (grated fresh for best results), fennel seeds, star anise (add these whole for a subtle, liquorice like taste), and even more exotic options such as dried chilli flakes (use these in moderation), mace, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Once you have the perfect base, experiment to create your own custom blend.

To put it all together, blend your spices with a scoop or two (depending on how many cups you are preparing) of tea, add a small amount of water and plenty of milk (you can also use non-dairy milk), then gently bring to the boil on the stove. Keep tasting to check whether you need to add any extra spices, tea or milk. To serve, strain over a sieve or tea strainer and enjoy!

With the help of a few good quality spice grinders, some delicious fresh spices, your favourite loose leaf tea, and plenty of milk to bring it all together, you will soon have a delicious winter-ready chai recipe that warms, soothes and entices the taste-buds.