"Tall Soy Chai please"
That was my morning mantra at one of the three Starbucks within a 2 block radius of my office. I've been on the search for the perfect chai recipe for a while but since Little Miss arrived I've seriously increased my kitchen experimentation.
There are many reasons for wanting to make my own chai at home; The Starbucks version is a little too sweet (especially since they use vanilla soy milk), Peet's just doesn't do it for me... but mostly little people are expensive and coffee house chai means $3.50 * 3 days a week *52 weeks in a year = CRAP-on-a CRACKER-jack!
so ummm yea - I'll make my own thank you :)
Here's what I think is the perfect Chai recipe. There's sugar in the ingredients list but don't add it anymore I find soy milk to be sweet enough on it's own. If you use cow's milk then you might want to add it. Also, this makes just less than 4 cups so I keep it in a large canning jar in the fridge and warm up a cup at a time throughout the week.
Chai Perfection :)
6 black cardamom pods, split open
~14 whole cloves
~8 black peppercorns
small hand full of cinnamon bark (I like the bark more than the sticks)*
A 1" chunk of ginger cut into a few pieces
small spoon full of brown sugar
4 cups of soy milk (or cows milk)*
2/3 cups of water
6-8 black tea bags
Combine everything, except the tea, in a medium pot over low heat. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, add tea bags and cover pot. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Makes 4 cups.
Alternatively, or the way it's most often made in this house - put the pot on, change a diaper, tend to a crying munchkin, remember you have a pot on the stove and turn off the heat seconds before it boils over. Toss in teabags and cover until nap time.
Enjoy with a homemade lemon cranberry scone (hmmm, I should post the recipe for that too)
*I've tried it with unsweetened soy milk and with rice milk and it was no-go. Plus it separated, and the texture was all weird.
** I used cinnamon bark instead of cinnamon sticks. I'm guessing it's around 1/2 cup worth of bark or ~5 cinnamon sticks