Almost everyone loves a good cup of chai. Almost no one likes paying $3.45+tax and standing in line at Starbucks for some syrupy chai out of the box. Sure, it says it's organic...or whatever....
I guess i am just a purist in that there is something more satisfying to both my tastebuds and my soul to just mix the spices and tea myself. Not only does it save time and money, but it tastes so much more pure. Most importantly, it saves you the irritation of having to say the words "tall" "vente" or "grande". That doesn't irritate you, you say? Well, good for you, you are a more tolerant person than I!
Rushing out the door, are you? Want to just grab a chai on the go, it'll be faster? Yeah, maybe until you realize you have to park, stand in line, make change, wait for your drink, walk out, get back in the car.... My point is, if you just mix up a big jar of loose tea and spices, throw a couple scoops in some water on the stove while you are gathering your things, then finish it with a little milk and honey and throw it in your to- go cup, you are saving your self.
Here is my recipe:
makes 24 oz.
the spice quantities are approximate. See picture above to reference.
2 Tbs loose tea (for a decaf chai, use a rooibos. For a traditional black tea, use the lipton red label loose tea. It comes in a big box and you can get it wherever, I get it at the indian store where it is cheapest. You can get your spices there in bulk for cheap as well.)
8-10 whole cloves
3/4 tsp fennel seed
3/4 tsp peppercorns (I used pink in the picture)
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 allspice berries
a few flakes of dried ginger
8-10 cardamom pods, crushed
*1/4 tsp red pepper flakes if you like it spicy
You can multiply this and mix it all up in a jar so you don't have to bust out the spices every time. If you do this, you might want to add 3 table spoons dry to the wet proportions. Just play around with it until you get the strength you like.
I add these quantities to the following:
2 cups water
1 cup milk
1 tbs honey
Bring spices and loose tea just to a boil and reduce to simmer for a few minutes. Add the milk and honey and simmer a few minutes more. Strain into your mug and enjoy!