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Chai Tea

June 6, 2010

One of my most favourite type of teas is Indian Spiced Chai. I especially love the Chai Latte’s at Timothy’s or Star Bucks, but they are full of sugar and the flavour doesn’t really come from a true brewed tea. I’ve also tried chai at many Indian restaurants, and it seems to be a hit or miss. I’m not fond of strong flavours like ginger or the bold/bitter taste of ceylon tea. I like a more calm flavour – so, my version actually omits these ingredients. I use decaf tea which is not as strong to allow the flavours of the spices I do add to really shine. If you don’t like cardamom – then this tea is not for you. But, if you do and want to try an adult version of hot chocolate – then you should definitely give this tea a try. Many of my friends have asked for this recipe, and I get many requests to make this for family or friends’ functions. I hope you are able to duplicate it and enjoy it to.

cup of chai

Ingredients:

Chai Ingredients

2 sticks of cinnamon

1/4 cup cardamom seds

1/8 cup cloves

tea bags (1 bag per 2 cups)

sugar (to taste)

cream or whole milk

cheesecloth and string (optional)

4L of boiling water

Step 1:

Start off by boiling a pot of water. Fill it up as high as possible. I am using a 4 quart pot. It will make about 10 cups of tea in the end.

I don’t have a tea infuser that is large enough to hold all my spices, so, I just use a piece of cheesecloth. You could just throw the spices in the boiling water, but you will have to strain them out before serving. I prefer to use the cheesecloth, so I can just fish out all the spices at once. So, first start off by putting the cardamom seeds in the centre of the cheesecloth. Then fold the cheesecloth in half, and smash/bruise the cardamom seeds with a mallet or pestle. Smash the seeds enough that the cardamom seeds open up and expose the seeds inside. Don’t throw away the seeds or the powder residue that gets left behind. This is where the intense flavours are – so throw it in the pot.

cardamom in cheesecloth

Bruised cardamom seeds

Step 2: Add the cloves, then wrap up the cheesecloth into a nice neat sack.

Bruised Cardamom and Cloves

fold outer edges of cheesecloth

fold in half from bottom to top and tie up with string

trim off excess string and cloth of spice bag

Step 3:

Put spice bag and cinnamon sticks in pot. Add about 4 Litres of boiling water. Allow it to boil for about 1 hours, or until the volume of water is reduced by half and the water has changed into a dark brown colour. Then, add the tea bags. I will usually add about 10 tea bags. I bag per cup of tea.

Put spices in pot

Boil until water is reduced by half and water is brown in colour

Add the tea bags

Step 4: Once the tea is fully steeped, remove the tea bags. You can leave the spices in the pot to make the spice flavour stronger. Then add about 1 cup cream or whole milk. I find if I use 2% or lower milk, the tea tastes too watery. I prefer to use just cream. Then add the sugar – to taste. Don’t omit the sugar though. The sugar really brings out the flavour of the cardamom and other spices.

Remove the tea bags and spices

Add cream or milk

Add sugar

Step 5: bring to a boil again, and serve hot!

Cup of Chai

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 27, 2010 9:28 pm

    MMmm my fave drink. My only problem is that I’m very sensitive to caffeine. Chai tea is so much stronger than any other regular tea. I’m craving for a cup right now!!!

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