Friday, July 24, 2009

My Recipe for Chai Tea

The Father's Day before last I created a chai tea kit for Travis. I bought a bunch of bulk spices and packaged them up with two lovely chai cups from the Tao of Tea in Portland, Oregon. Anyway, it has taken till just now to actually use any of the ingredients to make some chai. I have secretly been using the whole nutmeg for a while, however. I love fresh nutmeg.

In my Chai Kit I included:

Anise seeds
Star Anise
A Vanilla Bean
Whole Cloves
Whole Nutmeg
Cinnamon Sticks
Crystallized Ginger
Cardamom Pods
Whole Black Peppercorns

In addition to the above ingredients, I had on hand some allspice, one of those 4 pepper medley grinders and some fresh ginger.

I also used "sada chai" from the tao of tea. Strong black tea of any sort would work I imagine.

My method:

Basically, I approached this concoction willy-nilly. I used a tablespoon of anise, a star or two of star anise, part of the now dried-dead vanilla bean, a tablespoon of whole cloves plus some extra, you know, for good measure, a three second shave of the nutmeg, maybe longer if you like it spicy, a cinnamon stick, two slices of the crystallized ginger and three slices fresh ginger, another tablespoon of cardamom pods, a pinch of allspice, and a tablespoon of whole pepper corns. I also ground two rotations of the pepper mill in that mix. So, this part is experimental. You can adjust the amounts to your taste. I think next time I will add more nutmeg. You just want it spicy and fragrant.

Boil that mix in three cups of water for five minutes. Turn off heat and let steep for ten additional minutes. Next I added two or three tablespoons of the black tea curls. Here is where you can use tea bags or lose black tea. Just make a strong brew as you will be diluting this mixture with milk. I brought the spices and tea to a boil and reduced to a simmer for five minutes. I then strained the ingredients with a handy kitchen mesh screen Travis brought to our relationship. I love him for the strainer. Here is a picture of the strainer:

Return to pot and add two tablespoons of honey (more or less to your sweet desires) and stir. To the brew add two cups of milk. I prefer soy milk for some reason. Only in chai really. That is of course up to you. Heat to desired temperature and enjoy!

If you prefer iced chai just don't heat milk and add ice.

Ah, so good.

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