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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to make your own chai

Okay, I admit it, this has nothing to do with editing. But if you're like me, drinking something tasty and caffeinated could have quite a lot to do with your creative process.

So. I got this chai recipe from a friend of a friend via Facebook. Unfortunately, I have gone hunting for the original post (it was a comment in someone else's thread), and for the life of me I cannot find it to give proper credit where it is do.

But anyway. Chai.

I wrote the recipe down originally, but am too lazy to get off my butt and go look for it, so this is from memory - but it's pretty easy.
  • Three cups water (or 750 mL)
  • Three black teabags (you can use loose tea, but you'll have to strain the chai after it's done, before serving)
  • A pinch each (HA! I used more like 1/4 tsp at least and then added some more to garnish) of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom (or I think it was three or four whole pods if that's your thing), ground cloves, and black pepper. Don't forget the black pepper.
  • Two cups milk (or 500 mL) (preferably whole)
  • 4 tsp sugar (or 50 mL), prepare to add more to taste. I started with sugar, but when it came time for the "to taste" part I added honey.
Put the water, tea, and spices into a medium saucepan and bring to boil over HIGH heat. I personally had to watch out for foaming from the tea, although that may have been the teabags. And by foaming, I mean the pot was less than half full of water and threatened to boil over.

Anyway, once it's boiling, reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer for ten minutes. You're gonna end up with some seriously strong tea, here.

After simmering, add the milk and sugar, bring heat up to MEDIUM, and bring it all back up to a simmer. Remove from heat. If you used loose tea, strain before serving. So that's most of what was in the recipe, with a little of my commentary added because I get verbose about things I like.

This next part was not in the recipe I was given: Once it's in your mug, you can add honey instead of sugar to bring it up to your preferred sweetness level. You can also garnish with another little sprinkle of your favorite of the powdered spices you used (I go for ginger).

They also don't tell you that this recipe makes at least three or four mugs' worth, so unless you have friends or are a chai junkie, you'll have to let the extra cool to room temp, put it in a sports bottle, and store it in the fridge. Now, I only made this for the very first time yesterday. However, speaking from experience this morning, you can just shake up the cold chai to stir up the spices that have settled out, then pour into a mug and microwave for about 1:20 to 1:30, and it will be just as flavorful and possibly even a little spicier than it was yesterday. And yes, if you want, you can totally drink it cold too.

Warning - black tea has caffeine in it. This is not at all a caffeine-free beverage. If you're looking for a caffeine-free alternative to coffee, this ain't it. You will be stimulated. You may possibly be wired. Just... keep that in mind. But it is really, really good. It takes like the tea I got at an Indian restaurant once, as opposed to the mixes you get made from powder at your local coffee shop or the grocery store.

1 comment:

  1. You are the bestest. Thank you so much for posting this. As soon as I've finished with this comment, I am going to make up a batch for Husband Guy and I to enjoy and taunt our children with.