And I fell even deeper in love.
In the past year, Jim and I have developed a love of Indian food, a cuisine I'd previously deemed icky and refused to even try. In trying different restaurants, I've learned that everyone seems to have a different take on the milky tea beverage. Some I love and some, usually the sweeter ones, I really quite dislike. But being exposed to so many different variations of the same drink got me to thinking. Maybe I could make my own variation too.
After experimenting a bit with different spices, I came up with one I love.
Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate6 cups of water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
2 star anise "stars"
small chunk of fresh nutmeg (you can substitute for 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (or a small piece of fresh ginger)
8 tbsp loose black tea
3 tbsp honey
If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to crush your spices. I do not have one, so I just broke mine up with my hands and/or the flat side of a knife blade. Add the spices and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Put a lid on it and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the tea leaves. Cover and let steep for five minutes. Strain the tea into a large pitcher and discard the leaves and spices. Add the honey and stir until combined.
I store mine in mason jars and mix it with soy milk when I need a "fix." Of course it never lasts this long at my house, but it will keep for about a week in the fridge.
It's delicious either hot or iced and pairs perfectly with a good book or a close friend. Or both.