It had been some time since I had chai tea when I visited an Indian restaurant. It was served as standard fare and I marveled and remembered its wonder. How is it that I could let months go by, or years, without drinking chai tea? A big reason in my case is that most of my beverages get made right here at home and chai tea simply was not part of my routine.
Chai tea is very simple to make. It is a combination of a chai spice infusion, black tea, a sweetener, and milk or cream. You can make the spicy base to have on hand and brew a cup up fresh each time. You could brew a larger batch combining the spices and black tea and rewarm it when you are ready for it. It does not have to be complicated.
Chai Tea Ingredients
3 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1-inch length of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 black tea bags
2 tablespoons whole sugar (rapadura or sucanat, or just plain sugar)
1 cup milk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream)
Chai Tea Steps
Place spices in water and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for ten minutes.
Turn off heat and allow infusion to steep for about ten minutes. (Allow this infusion to sit overnight for a stronger flavor.)
Bring infusion to a boil, add tea bags, cover, and steep for five minutes.
Strain tea, separating out the spices.
Discard spices or use them in another batch (perhaps with some fresh spice bits added for flavor).
Add milk, cream, and sweetener. Allow sugars to dissolve. Serve.