Thursday, September 9, 2010

In pursuit of chai.

I will acknowledge that I tend to find something I LOVE and then eat, drink, do, wear (insert action here) ad nauseum. I will just consider it a quirk of mine and leave it at that. Some examples of this are: running, find a song I love and leaving it on repeat for days and days, Tetris (wish I was kidding), watching Pride and Prejudice (..over and over and over.. If Darcy wouldn't have done that thing with his hand and said that he loves Elizabeth Bennet "most ardently" it would be easier to quit this habit.) Anyway, the latest "quirk" is chai. I'm absolutely loving it. However, one venti, iced (easy ice, please), nonfat, four pump chai ("a defining sense of self") will run me $3.99 (and my first born child) at Starbucks. Crazy, eh? So I started investing in the Tazo chai concentrate which can be found at Walmart for $3.47 a box. That can still get a bit pricey so I am in pursuit of the perfect chai recipe. When I find a recipe I love I will post it over at chowcity, but while I'm looking I will post the update here and if anyone has any pointers feel free to help a sister out!
Attempt #1
6 bags of Awake black tea
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 chunk of fresh ginger, smashed
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups water
3 cups milk

I combined the above ingredients (minus the milk) and brought them to a boil. After a couple minutes I took out the tea bags and let the other ingredients simmer. I then added the milk and reheated, being careful not to boil. Once it had cooled a bit I strained it using a fine mesh strainer.
Consensus: I need to be careful to not let the tea steep too long and maybe next time I will boil the spices first? Also, I think more cloves and ginger are in order for the next attempt! I poured the chai in a pitcher and allowed it to chill overnight and it was much, much better in the morning!
Maybe I will have this perfected in time for fall.. and just in time to decide that I love latte's again :)


Erin said...

i'm looking forward to seeing what you find out-- and have you seen this site?

Leann said...

You and me both, sister!
I had this search last year, but I looked for something that was instant so it could be more portable ( I love me some chai to go in my travelers mug!)
Anyway, the KEY to a good chai is cardamom. It's the strong indian spice.
I finally found one I loved, but it makes a ton so you can store it and use it later.


* 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
* 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
* 1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
* 2 cups white sugar
* 1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
* 4 teaspoons ground ginger
* 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1-2 teaspoon ground cardamom(it can be strong)
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon allspice (optional)
* 1/4 teaspoon white pepper


1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavored creamer, sugar and instant tea. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and other spices. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder.
2. To serve: Stir 2 heaping tablespoons Chai tea mixture into a mug of hot water.

I really do want a recipe of a fresh, cook it on the stove, drink it that day, recipe as well- so when you find it- send it my way, friend!

Susan said...

I haven't, thanks!!

Ginny said...

My chai method (based on years of drinking fantastically delicious Kenyan chai) is as follows:

Boil: 1 part water, 1 part milk, and half as many teaspoons of loose black tea as cups liquid. (ie - for a small batch, 2 cups water, 2 cups milk, 2 tsp tea leaves). You could substitute tea bags, but it's not quite the same. I can bring you some delicious loose tea from Kenya if you can wait until January. :)

While it's cooking, add lots of sugar (guess I should say "to taste" here) and spices:
ginger (most vital, but a little goes a long way!)
a little cinnamon
a very little bit of black pepper
tiny bit nutmeg, the spices are similar to the ones you listed, just lest specific. :)

Susan said...

Awesome, thanks guys!
I would love some tea, Ginny! Thank you!

Sarah said...

I despise Chai. Absolutely.No.Help.To.You.
Sorry! I'll ask my sis. She loves that stuff too!