Saturday, 16 March 2013

Homemade Chai Tea for Me!

I've got to admit it... I"m a "give or take" kind of cook!  "That recipe calls for 1/2 cup brown sugar - give or take a bit."  My husband HATES it!  He loves the results, but hates the fact that he can't EXACTLY reproduce a recipe because I make them up and put in amounts that are "give or take" quantities.

But, I digress... onto my new favorite drink!  Chai Tea!  More specifically homemade Chai Tea!  My good friend Julie introduced this to me and it was love at first sip!  I'm not much of a coffee drinker and frankly tea that's not herbal is just not for me!  But Chai Tea is my new love!  If you've had Chai Tea at your local coffee shop, this is nothing like it.  It's better!!!!  The flavours just *POP*!  (Yes, I must use this many exclamation points when describing the flavour!)

A fabulous recipe can be found at "A Wooden Nest".  But I thought I might write out a simple one here, along with my added notes.

The simple recipe:

Spiced Chai Concentrate

4 1/2 cups water
Boil the following:
1 stick cinnamon
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
7 whole cardamom pods
2 whole star anise pods
10 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
10 bags of black tea
Add in after straining:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey1 tablespoon vanilla

Simply, just boil the water.  Remove from the heat and add in the spices and the black tea bags.   (I usually twist tie the bags together by their strings, then twist them onto the pot handle).  Steep for 15 minutes.

My friend Julie gave me the great idea to use a HUGE Mason Jar.  The jar hold over 6 cups (way more than the concentrate makes), so here's where the "give or take" comes in.
**See, I eventually come around and make the point!**
I usually add a little extra of the ingredients that I like from the spice mix, just to compensate for the extra water that I put in to bring it to fill the mason jar.  Sometimes it's a little extra anise or cardemom, sometimes a little more orange zest. I don't add any extra black tea bags, but if they are your favorite, go for it!

Once you pour everything into the Mason Jar, let it cool for an hour or so.  Then, when it's done, just screw the lid on and pop it into your fridge!  To serve, put equal parts concentrate and milk - then heat in the microwave.  I like to make mine latte style with a little extra sugar. So I usually whip up a little extra milk with my frother (hand blender works too) after it's been heated separately.  It's amazing!  I just have to remember to only drink 1 per afternoon, or I'll be up forever with that caffeine!

Hope you enjoy this little drink as much as I do.  Now I can't wait till summer and serve this over ice!!

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