Tasty Tuesday #3: Homemade Chai Tea

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I love having a nice big mug of chai tea to warm me up. Buying the chai packets gets expensive, and they are full of sugar. Here's how I make my own (beware, this recipe made almost a gallon!):

Boil a large pot of water on the stove, like you were going to make a couple pounds of pasta, but without the salt/oil.

When it's boiling, add 6 black tea bags and steep for maybe 5 minutes. Also add the following:

2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp fennel (crushed - use a mortar/pestle or a wooden spoon in a bowl)
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp crushed cloves
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup honey (stir well so it doesn't sit on the bottom)

After steeping the black tea bags sufficiently (the water will turn a dark brownish/black), remove the tea bags, but let the other spices steep for another 15 minutes or so.

If you want to enjoy it hot, ladle out a mug or two while the spices are steeping. Heat some milk in the microwave (or the stove if you're careful not to burn it) and mix with about 1 part of each. You can reheat the tea at a later time in the microwave if it cools off too much.

If you want it iced - let it steep for maybe half an hour. It should be brewed stronger, since the ice will dilute the tea. Once it is cool to the touch, pour it into a pitcher while straining out the spices with a paper towel spread over a metal colander (to catch the fine spices). Then, add cold milk for a refreshing, slightly caffeinated, spicy treat!

Given the fact that you can buy black tea bags in bulk for around 100 bags for $2.00, the spices are fairly inexpensiv, and milk is generally inexpensive as well, a gallon of chai tea should cost you no more than a buck or two. That's much, much better than going to a fancy coffee store and spending $4 per cup. If you really want creamy chai, try adding a dash of half and half to get that nice smooth mouth-feel, or use whole milk (we normally buy 1% or 2%, so the extra fat makes a big difference).


~PakKaramu~ said...
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