Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Chai Tea

After watching “Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea,” a documentary available via Acorn TV, I became obsessed with making tea. I dug out all of the bags, boxes, and loose tea tins that had piled up in the back of my pantry, and every day would brew a different variety. I enjoyed this on many levels. First of all, it forced me to relax, something that tends to be a bit foreign to me. Secondly, it allowed me to enjoy my small collection of teapots in a way that I hadn’t previously, when I made tea in more of a rush. Lastly, this daily ritual allowed me to savor each sip, and in the doing I found myself appreciating every aroma, unique flavor, and nuance of the various types of tea that I tried.

In the process, I found myself becoming interested in something I had previously resisted (largely because it seemed so, well, “millennial,” not that there's anything wrong with that), and that is chai tea. I think the fact that it’s loaded with milk and sugar is what put me off of it the most. I decided to tinker around with the main ingredients, lightening up both the sugar and milk to see how I would like it. While I didn’t have a proper pottery cup made of mud from the bottom of the River Ganges in which to enjoy it, I surprised myself by liking it. To me, it was more like dessert, and something to be enjoyed after a meal. Still, the kick of the spices and heat of the peppercorns, coupled with sweet, might just make this a nice morning eye-opener.
Chai Tea

3” piece Melissa’s ginger, cut into thin rounds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
6 cups cold water
6 bags of black tea (Darjeeling is best)
1 ¾ cups whole milk
¼ cup brown sugar

 Combine first 6 ingredients in medium saucepan. Using the back of large spoon, lightly bruise spices. Add 6 cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add milk and sugar. Bring tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Strain into a teapot and serve hot.

If you prefer coffee to tea, this spicy Mexican Coffee is a great winter warmer.

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bj said...

while i love hot tea, there's a spice of some kind in Chai that I don't like...
so, I will have a cup of the Mexican Coffee....ummmm

Linda said...

I love chai tea and have a big bag of it purchased from an online shop. I am so happy to have this recipe so I don't have to order it any more!

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

Can you believe I have never tried Chai tea?? This sounds lovely and no doubt made a lovely smell in the house!