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Chai TeaI haven’t had ten minutes at home to make a pot of Chai Tea to take a picture but it’s something I have been craving lately.  With all this talk of tea parties and the gloomy weather, I’ve wanted nothing more than to curl up at home with a cup of chai tea.  Now all I need to do is block out some time – maybe this weekend.

Chai tea is an Indian tea.  It’s a rather simple drink – just a spicy sweet milk tea.  It’s not hard to make.  We put a pot on the stove and let it stay on warm all day.  I bet it would be great in the crockpot but I haven’t tried it.  There are instant versions of chai but nothing matches the taste of it brewed fresh.

So how do you do it – simply brew black tea with spices in water with a little milk and sugar.  We often leave out the milk for brewing and add it when we go to drink.  I buy my spices from San Francisco Herb in bulk so I always have plenty.  I will say that cardamom has been pricey lately so I apologize that it’s not currently an inexpensive drink but it doesn’t take much cardamom to make.

The recipe is more traditional and great for beginners.  We barely follow it anymore – adding the spices as we feel them and saving the milk and sugar for after it’s brewed.

Chai is great hot and even better cold for summer days.

Chai Tea

½ cup milk plus more to taste

3-inch stick cinnamon

½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced or 1 teas grated ginger

2 whole cloves

4 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed

¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

4 teaspoon sugar and more to taste

4 tea bags

In large saucepan combine 5 cups of water, milk, spices and sugar.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let set for 5-10 minutes.  Add tea bags and bring to boil for a second time.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer 5 minutes.  Check for flavor and add more sugar and milk if needed.  Can strain and serve at that time or leave on slow simmer and drink on all day, straining tea into cups – be sure not to let all the water evaporate.

*Note – do not use powdered ginger, amount of spices are approximate can add more or less depending on taste.