Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hot Chai, Winter in the City..

Back in December, I took a trip to Oregon, where a friend and I had some of the most delicious chai tea I've ever had. Now, spring is here in my little West Coast town, and I've been hit with a sudden craving for chai.  I decided to try to make my own as soon as I could afford the supplies.

My first attempt was OK, but it tasted a bit medicinal--too much cardamom and cloves, not enough of every thing else. My second attempt was much milder and smoother, and that's the recipe I'm giving you today. This makes enough for four people instead of one, because let's be honest--who's really going to drink just one cup? And if you multiply these ingredients by three, you'll have enough for twelve cups, which should get you through the week (or at least a few days, in our house).

Chai tea for four

 3 cups water
2 cups Half-and-Half
 4 full teaspoons / 2 tea bags of British black tea (Tetley seems to work nicely)

4 pods green cardamom
1 thumb sized piece (or 2 inches) fresh ginger, crushed up or at least chopped up
4 whole black peppercorns
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1/2 a cup of brown sugar

Combine the liquids and the tea into a pot and set the heat to medium. Get a ziplock bag and put all the spices and ginger together, then crush them either with a pot or a rolling pin ( you can stop when you can see the cardamom pods break open and the cinnamon break up). Dump the spices into the liquid, then stir frequently for 30 minutes, or until the liquid level drops by roughly half an inch. Strain the solids out, add the brown sugar and stir till dissolved. Serve hot or ice cold.