When it comes to caffeinated drinks, I'm definitely a tea person. And my favorite kind of tea is chai. But I've never had "real" chai before, just teabag and powdered versions. Until the other day! For my birthday I got a make-your-own chai kit, and I finally got a chance to try it out this week.
This kit is really cute (and smells heavenly)--here's what's inside:
It's got three kinds of black tea (two tins each): cardamom tea, earl grey and ceylon tea. It also contains star anise, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and black peppercorns. You can mix up your own blend of spices and teas, but the kit includes a recipe to get you started.
Since I'm a chai newbie, I followed their directions. Here's what they recommend:
Two pieces of cinnamon (I used three because I'm a cinnamon nut), 8 cardamom pods, 8 cloves, 6 peppercorns, 1 anise pod, and 3 teaspoons of tea (I used one of each kind).
You add the spices to 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. (It was already smelling delicious at this point!) Then you add 3/4 cup of milk, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and the tea. Lower the heat and let the tea steep for a few minutes (depending on how strong you want it).
Then you strain the chai and you're done! The recipe makes about two servings.
The chai was delicious! Just sweet enough, very smooth and not bitter, but with a spicy kick at the end. It was a great drink for a rainy afternoon. And I love the fact that I can keep refilling the tins as I run out of ingredients.
The process of making chai from scratch is not as scary as it sounds, so give it a try!