I am an ex-Starbucks lover. I have spent a fortune on venti, soy, no water, no foam, chai lattes. And then I downgraded to buying the syrup and making it myself at home. Except the stuff they sell in the box isn’t strong enough, so it never tasted right. Unless it was on ice. Then it was delicious.
And then I switched to David’s tea. Their chai tea took some getting used to, but I’d doctored it with Silk Extra-Vanilla soy milk. But Silk doesn’t sell that brand near me, and I’d buy it by the case whenever we went to Syracuse, NY (yes, I’m a cross-border shopper). So then I made myself get used to just the regular soy milk. That took two weeks. And then I noticed that every single time I had David’s tea, I would be sick later. Like…in the washroom way too many times. So I cut it out for a week. And my issues stopped. So I had some the next morning. Regardless, I am no longer purchasing David’s tea (how could it possibly all of a sudden make me sick?)
So I broke down and found a recipe on the internet for homemade chai tea. I never wanted to try making it before, because it looked like too much work, but I finally did.
I have to share the recipe because it will blow your mind when you taste it. I have changed the amount of ingredients slightly, and then added a bit of my own to perfect it. You be the judge.
4″ piece of peeled fresh ginger
4 cinnamon sticks
4 tsp black peppercorns
20 whole cloves
9 cardamom pods
12 c cold H20
9 bags of Darjeeling tea
Put your sticks of cinnamon into an unsealed sandwich baggie. Grab your little hammer and cutting board for smashing.
and smash….Hulk smash. I find if you hold the baggie with one hand, keeping it closed, it’s less messy. And while smashing, don’t smash too hard, or you’ll put a hole in the baggie.
Drop into large pot on stove. Next, your peppercorns go into the same baggie. And smash. If you like it spicy, smash more peppercorns.
Then you are going to gently smash your cardamom and cloves. Cardamom is a funny spice, and once you smell it, you’ll recognize it. From curries and from certain teas.
Peel your ginger and chop into half-inch pieces. Then smash gently with knife to get the juice oozing out all over.
Add your cold H20 (I like to use Brita water because we are on a well) and bring to a rolling boil. Once it is boiling, cover with lid, and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer 15 minutes.
Then remove pot from heat and when it stops boiling, drop in your tea bags. The instructions say to brew for 60 minutes, but I love a good strong tea, so I let it brew for like, 4-6 hours. And because the recipe calls for 20 bags and I’m cheap. Then drain it into a large bowl through a pasta strainer to catch your bits of spices. Then pour bowl of contents into a pitcher and refrigerate. Every morning I heat up half and half (with soy milk) on a pot on the stove, whisking every minute or so until it’s steaming. Then I inhale.
I highly recommend it! I try to use the best ingredients, but I can’t get my hands on organic ginger. Do you best to buy slave-free spices (buy fair trade!) and you’ll feel even better when drinking it.