I love Chai Tea! I was first introduced to Chai Tea in December 2003 during our honeymoon in New Zealand. A friend of Mark is married to a lovely Indian lady and we stayed with them while in New Zealand. She brought us to one of the tea shops in Christchurch and convinced us to try Chai Tea. I have been hooked eversince.
Here’s a photo of myself in Christchurch in 2003 and many pounds ago!
Since then till recently, I never learned how to prepare my own Chai. So more often than not, I end up buying from Starbucks or getting a prepared mix from the grocery. While they taste ok, I find them to be so sugary.
Finally, last July our friend Samuel B. from India came to visit us. Not only did we have a lovely time with him, he taught me how to make Chai Tea! The authentic way and with only 1 major ingredient – Cardamom pods. Wow! It was the best Chai I have ever had! I think the reason why I never tried to make it was the thought of having to mix or grind many spices. I was so wrong. It is quite easy to make. Thanks to Sam I no longer need to spend money to make my own authentic Chai Tea right in our own home.
Here’s what a cardamom pod looks like.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia by Sanjay Ach.
While cardamom is the most essential spice to any Chai Tea, sometimes I experiment by adding a cinnamon stick, star anise or fennel seeds to the mix. I make about 2-3 cups worth ’cause I like to have one in the morning (as replacement for coffee) and one in the afternoon, to keep me alive!
So enjoy your homemade Chai Tea! Have it with ice in the Summer and serve hot during Fall and Winter!
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6 cardamom pods, crushed or split open
1 stick cinnamon (optional)
2 Chinese star anise or 1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
2 cups water
1/2 – 1 cup milk (use more if you want it creamy)
2-3 tsp black tea leaves (or 2-3 black tea bags)
Sugar, to taste
Place the cardamom pods and the other spices (if using) in the saucepan (big enough to accommodate about 3 cups of liquid). Pour in 2 cups of water.
Using medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil lower the heat to medium and continue to boil for another 2 minutes to extract more flavor. Add the milk and wait till it boils again. Once the liquid starts to boil and the milk is starting to foam well, add the black tea.
Cover and remove from the heat and brew for 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you want your tea to be.
Strain then transfer the remaining tea to a mug or tea cup. Add some sugar, to taste.
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