I have always had the habit of adding a bit extra to my teas, and was surprised when I finally looked up what Chai Tea is a few years ago. Finally, “my” tea had a name.:)
For my personal preference, the flavors to stick with are black tea, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger for a good base. After that, add whatever spices you like. I usually make it with water rather than milk. I don’t want to drink THAT much milk, I drink a lot of tea.
I love a little kick, so I will often add a bit of heat from cayenne pepper, crushed chilli pepper or other peppers. And I almost always use a few peppercorns.
Use any sweetener you like, sugar, brown sugar, stevia, or skip it altogether. I love just a touch of honey in my tea.
I change it up by adding a 2 – 3 drops of vanilla extract (to a whole pot) at times, or if I’m not using milk, I love adding lemon juice.
I rarely actually measure how much of anything I’m putting in my tea, just adjust things to suit your taste.
If I have any leftover tea, once it’s completely cooled, I add some kefir to it and chill overnight.
It makes a great iced tea with water based tea & water kefir, and you’ll get a very interesting flavor for a milk based chai using milk kefir.
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 inch "finger" of ginger, cut in slices or grated
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cardamom pods
- 10 peppercorns
- 10 cloves
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 5 bags black tea
- 1 crushed dried chilli pepper
Bring covered pot of water to boil with spices and ginger added. Reduce heat and let simmer at least 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, add tea. Let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags.
Stir in honey to dissolve. Add milk.
Strain out spices. Serve.