Chai, pronounced with a long "i" as in the word tie, is the actual word for
tea in many countries. The work "Chai" literally means
"tea" to much of the world. So yes, technically, calling it Chai Tea
means "tea tea." It is also known as masala chai, Masala meaning
"spiced". It is a centuries-old beverage from India which is basically black tea brewed with selected spices and milk. The spices
vary from recipe to recipe, but is traditionally consumed hot and sweet. Play with the flavors and make this tea your own!
Chai is a delicious and a dazzling recipe that you can cook in your home! This is a great alternative to coffee. Chai powders, syrups, and teabags
can never compare to freshly brewed Chai. When made in this traditional fashion, with black tea, chai is not caffeine free;
however, it has only about half of the caffeine of a similarly-sized cup of coffee.
Give chai a chance, in place of your usual coffee or tea. You will probably find yourself reaching for this spicy mixture again and again!
Chai - Masala Chai - Spiced Milk Tea
Yields: 3 cups
Prep time: 15 min
2 cups water
3 black tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose organic black tea*
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole green cardamom pods, crushed or about 1/4 teaspoon seeds
4 whole cloves
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 (6-inch) piece vanilla bean (cut up into 1-inch pieces) or 1 teaspoon
pure vanilla extract
4 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups low fat or whole milk**
* Decaffeinated tea leaves can also be used, but increase the amount of tea by either 1 teaspoon loose tea
or 1 tea bag to make up for the loss in flavor.
** If you are vegan or allergic to dairy products,
substitute your favorite milk substitute. The flavor will vary with the type of milk substitute used.
large saucepan, add the water, tea bags, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods,
cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla bean, peppercorns, and brown sugar. Bring
just to a boil; then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for
approximately 5 minutes depending on how strong a spice flavor you want.
Add milk and slowly bring just to simmer (do not boil the milk), then
remove from heat. Strain mixture through strainer or coffee filters;
press on the spices and tea with a spoon to extract all the fragrant liquids.
NOTE: Many people make the tea base ahead of time, adding the milk when they are ready to serve.
Serve hot or in a tall glass filled with ice.
Store unused portion in the refrigerator.
Makes 3 cups.