Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai Tea

Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai Tea

 A hot cup of tea

It’s been foggy and wet. This is typical winter weather in Georgia. But this week it’s really been quite unbearable. Most of the country is getting an onslaught of winter weather and I ,along with everyone else, have been locked up indoors dreaming of spring. To help pass the time I’ve been cooking up preserved fruits and veggies from the summer and fall garden. I had forgotten that I froze like 10 bags of shredded zucchini. As I was whipping up a batch of my Summer Squash Bread, I got a hankering for some Chai tea.

Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai Tea

What is Chai?

In it’s simplest form, Chai is a tea of Indian origin, made by brewing tea leaves in milk with sugar and spices. Spiced tea is consumed by many cultures around the world. The spice mixture will vary depending on the county. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper.

My Chai Recipe

Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai Tea

I prefer my Chai heavy on the ginger. I also like to add vanilla, star anise and pepper. The beauty of Chai is that there are no rules for the spice mixture; add more or less of what you like. I also prefer my tea on the sweet side, so I use a generous spoon of honey.

Chai Tea

Ingredients:
Serves 2
8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
4 black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced*
2 cups whole milk
2 cups of water
4 Tablespoons of loose leaf English breakfast tea (or 4 bags of tea)
Honey
*I have used crystallized ginger in this recipe and liked the result. I use fresh ginger regularly, so I always have it on hand. A great way to store fresh ginger is to freeze it. Peel the root first, then chop it into 1-inch pieces. Place the cut up ginger in a plastic bag and freeze it. When you are ready to use a piece, take it out of the bag and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. You can then slice or chop like it was fresh!

Directions

Crush the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle or with a heavy skillet. Cut the vanilla bean length-wise and scrape the seeds out of the pod with the knife.
Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai Tea

Place the spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil.Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai TeaAdd the loose leaf tea or tea bags to a ceramic teapot. Remove the milk from the heat and pour the mixture into the teapot. Let steep for 10 minutes.

Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai Tea

Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Strain into cups. To each cup, add  honey  to taste.

Warming the Winter Blues: Homemade Chai Tea

Enjoy your cup of Chai with a yummy and warm snack. With these warming spices tantalizing your taste buds, winter won’t be so bad.

 

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