OPTIONAL: scant 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in cool water overnight or very hot water 1 hour - then drained)
Add water, tea and spices to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes to fully steep.
Remove from heat and add almond milk and sweetener of choice and stir. Warm for 2-3 minutes off the heat, and then pour over 2 serving mugs using a fine mesh strainer.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more for sugar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan) for sweetness, and ground cinnamon for a little extra warmth.
OPTIONAL: For extra creamy texture, add your chai tea mixture + scant 1/2 cup soaked cashews to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness/seasonings as needed. I added more sweetener, ground cinnamon and ground ginger for extra spice.
Either reheat briefly on the stovetop or microwave and serve. Heat modestly as the mixture can thicken quite a bit when reheated for too long (due to the cashews). If it gets too thick, thin with more almond milk or water.
Top with coconut whip and a dash of cinnamon and serve. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days, though best when fresh.