Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chai Tea

I drink a lot of tea in the winter. Chai is one of my favorites. I like to make a few cups worth of this mix and keep it in a small jar-- but drink it within a few days, because the spices lose flavor fast. If you have a coffee grinder, that's a good appliance to use for spice grinding. Clean it thoroughly before (and after) by grinding about a tablespoon of rice in it and wiping it out very well with a paper towel. If it's a very filthy device, do two rounds of rice grinding. A mortar and pestle will work very well too!

Use about equal parts spices and tea.

For 2 cups:
1 heaping teaspoon black tea leaves (or a teabag. PG Tips is my favorite kind of bagged tea)
1 heaping teaspoon ground spices:
~3 cardamom pods
1/4 stick cinnamon (or a big pinch of the ground stuff)
Big pinch whole cloves (don't use the pre-ground ones, they taste like nothing)
Small pinch peppercorns
Big pinch grated fresh ginger (if making to consume immediately) or the dry stuff (if making to save for a bit)

To brew, heat water to just below boiling and brew in teapot or cup for 4-5 minutes. The tea will sink to the bottom of the cup or pot into a mucilaginous goo that is very strong-tasting... You can attempt to strain the teapot before decanting into a cup, but it's fairly futile. Just let the grounds settle to the bottom of the cup.

Add a good quantity of warmed milk (cow and soy are the best-- rice milk is too watery for my tastes), and sugar/honey to taste!

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