The first time I went over to my now-good friend Melody’s house for tea, I knew we would be friends for life. How did I know on the first “date” you say? Well, she made me homemade chai of course! It was this incredible, aromatic, creamy, sweet cup of wonders and I knew that this was no ordinary friend. Two years later I still like to tell her that even with all the hours she spends in the kitchen with me, taking on the most horribly mundane tasks like a champ, her most valuable asset in this friendship are her chai skills ;) Well maybe that’s not true, her chia skills are probably tied with her ability to listen to me chatter for hours on end without bludgeoning me to death with a wooden spoon (thanks for refraining Mel, Im sure it’s crossed your mind).
So after I posted a pic on my FACEBOOK page of my morning brew in-the-makings, I had quite of few of you commenting and messaging me for the recipe. Since she taught me her ways I have never once measured out this recipe, I always just eyeball the ingredients and chuck them into a pot like she does. But because I adore all of your
attention support so much I decided to make a special batch where I got out my teaspoons to measure and now, with Mels blessing, I can share her recipe with you! Nothing compares to the way Mel does it, even my own copy-cat batches are never quite as good, but something is better then nothing so here follows my approximate attempts at a precise batch of chai. Enjoy!
Chai Tea Recipe
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp green caramom pods
1 tsp whole cloves
1 whole star anise
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1” fresh ginger, sliced
2 bags of black tea
milk and honey to to taste
How I Do It: Put all the spices into a pot and add 4 cups of water. Let this simmer, covered, for 30-45 mins or until the water is a dark amber colour. Then add two bags of black tea (I like something plain-ish, not anything fragrant like an Earl Grey that will compete with the chai, so go for a darjeeling or ceylon or english breakfast or something), a healthy splash of milk (works great with alternative milks as well) and either honey or sugar to sweeten. The milk and sugar really is a taste preference thing, but traditional chia is quite sweet and very creamy. Let this get all friendly in the pot for a few minutes and then ladle out into mugs and enjoy! The longer it stis on the the stove, the stronger it gets, which is perfect for me but some of you might not appreciate the spiciness so keep that in mind.
Another option is to add the black tea bags and then strain the liquid into a proper tea pot or thermal carafe. Then if you are enjoying it with a few other people you could each add your own milk and sweetener to taste. This is what we usually around here as I have two non-dairies, a non sugar (does hers with Stevia and says its good, but I am so not down with Stevia) and a real nutter who likes it black (thats wrong, by the way, dead wrong). Oh and don’t reuse the spices for another pot. All the goodness is gone after the first one so use new spices every time!
Looking forward to seeing what you all think if the magic brew! Be sure to leave comments thanking the Jedi Chai Master herself, Melody, for being ever so generous with us all ;)