Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Homemade Chai

I wasn't sure I would ever post this because my Chai recipe is really more like your grandmother's recipes. Ya know, the ones that she doesn't write down and doesn't measure, but just knows how to make it by feel. I started out with a base recipe from the internet that, of course, I can no longer find....

Homemade Chai

2 Black tea bags (English Breakfast)
2 small cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
10 peppercorns
1/8 t. cardamom
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2-2 c. water
Hot Milk

Put the first five ingredients in a small saucepan. Boil the water, then pour over the bags & spices. Cover the pot and let steep for about 10-15 minutes. Add the sugar and mix to dissolve. Strain into your mug. Add enough hot milk to make a medium to light brown colored chai. 

(Lotsa) Special Notes:
I'm really fussy about my tea preparation. I wouldn't just put the water in the pot and then bring it to a boil. I like pouring the boiling water over the bags & spices. Maybe it turns out the same; I don't know. Also, I like a reeeaaalllllllly long steep. Sometimes I'll just leave it there for hours. If you let it steep for forever like I do, you'll have to reheat the tea mixture when you're ready to serve it. For the straining, I use a really fine mesh strainer, but you could also use a coffee filter set into a funnel. Since the cardomom is the only ground spice, you could try and just really carefully decant the tea into your mug. I also make about 2-3 subsequent pots using the same spices. I'll just add one fresh tea bag to the bags already in the pot and sometimes about 1/2 of new spices to the ones already in the pot. I realized after typing this all out how much brown sugar I was consuming in a day. YIKES!! But for a special treat, it really is worth it. I figure that since I'm using 2% milk, I'm off-setting the sugar a little bit. You could also just use maybe 2 T. of brown sugar and sweeten with Splenda to taste. Feel free to throw some extra spices in there. Ginger? Nutmeg? Go for it. The spicier, the better. Because if you don't like it sweet and spicy, you might as well just use a store-bought Chai tea bag, know what I mean?


Peaceful Chaoz said...

Mmmmm, Excellent! I like it spicy! ;0)


Andrea said...

Thank you! I am so excited to try this. I LOVE chai but the concentrate I like is expensive and I wanted to make it with decaf tea because I'm going batty with all the caffeine. SWEET! I wonder if you could make a concentrate and then leave it in a jar in the fridge to mix up when you want. I like it cold over ice. Hmmm. Will have to try this weekend!

Rebecca said...

I'm sure you could just make the concentrate. That's really all that expensive stuff is, right? I SHOULD make a jug of it instead of mixing it up like this. Every. Day.

Jill Smith said...

I cannot wait to try this! Thank you for sharing!