Friday, November 15, 2013

Afternoon Chai for Two

We've doubled our coffee consumption since moving north. It's dark and chilly in the afternoons. When the toddler takes his nap, we usually need a little pick-me-up. Coffee is our go-to choice, but sometimes, chai is better.

This is not the chai that you get at Starbucks. I learned to make it from a friend who is from India. Start with loose black tea leaves or tea bags will do. You need an assortment of warm spices: fennel seed, whole cloves, fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise, whole cardamom, peppercorns. A small strainer (affiliate link) is helpful.

We like our coffee in the morning, chai in the afternoon. But chai is good at any time of day. Like everything, chai is personal. Feel free to tweak the spice blend to your liking. It will only get better with practice. Happy brewing.

Afternoon Chai for Two

1 mug of water
2 tablespoons loose leaf or 2 tea bags black tea
2 slices fresh ginger root
3 whole cardamom pods, smashed with the side of a knife
3 teaspoons fennel seed
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
a few whole cloves
a few black peppercorns 
1 mug whole milk
2 teaspoons sugar or sweetener of your choice

Slowly heat the water, tea, and spices to boil. Boil briskly until the tea is quite strong, 3-5 minutes. Add 1 mug full of milk and slowly bring to a boil. Allow the chai to foam up, then remove from heat. Add sweetener to taste. Strain the chai into 2 mugs.

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