Have you ever had homemade chai tea? It’s delicious and if you’ve never had it now’s the time to get out a pot and get it going. This month members of the Recipe ReDux group are blogging about a healthy beverage. I love chai! But I’ve been pretty lazy and have just been buying the prepackaged tea bag versions from Tazo or Trader’s Joe’s. They are both good but they are not as good as homemade chai tea.
I guess you could say that I really started liking it last summer while I was in Barcelona for a few days. A friend of ours from the city took us on a fantastic walking tour all over town. She talked to us about the architecture, politics, food and so on. Isn’t it great when you can see a place with a person who lives there? You get to learn little details that you’d never learn on your own. Anyway, it was a hot afternoon and when we were good and tired she took us to a small tea room. It was my first experience of going to a tea room and it was also my first time to drink homemade chai, and they were both great first time experiences. I will visit a tea room again, and as you can see, I am drinking chai again.
Being inquisitive, I asked the tea maker what she put in the tea and she said there are six ingredients: black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns, fresh ginger, and star anise. I later learned that there are many variations of chai and in India they make if different from city to city. But these combined 6 ingredients tasted very good to me so that’s what I’m sticking with for now. Later on I might try adding a quarter stick of vanilla and some orange peel—experimentation is always fun. And you can adjust the spices as you like. You don’t like cardamom? Use less of that and more of something else. It’s all good. Make it to suit your own taste.
- 10 cardomom pods
- 1 large stick cinnamon
- 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into quarters through the cross grain
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3 star anise
- 2-1/2 tablespoons black tea, or 7 teabags
- 7 cups of water
- 1 cup milk, soymilk, or other type of milk
- Honey or agave syrup to taste
- Place the cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorns, and star anise into a pot with 7 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and allow it to boil gently for 5 minutes. After this time cover the pot and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Add the tea and bring the mix to a boil. When it reaches a boil turn down the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain the tea and then add the milk. Add the honey or agave to taste.