I make chai every day with rare exceptions, and with seasonal variation.If you are sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing I recommend Red Rooibos tea substituted for the traditional black tea. Rooibos is also very high in antioxidants, even higher than green tea! If you're aiming for a little kick, Organic Assam is my favorite black tea to use. It's tough to find an organic black decaf, but if you can, you'll preserve the classic flavor of traditional chai.
Ingredients: *amounts are approximate. play with the recipe over time until you find your perfect quantities without any measuring, it's a lovely chai meditation. i like my chai strong both from a spice and tea standpoint, if you do too and it's not strong enough for you as is, you know you should add more spices or tea the next time.
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 cups whole raw milk (or organic, non-homogenized milk such as Kolona or Strauss)
- 2 Tbsp loose organic black tea or decaf black tea, OR 3 Tbsp red rooibos tea
- 5 whole cloves, crushed
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, sliced thin, grated or minced
- 1 small piece of cinnamon bark, crushed or 1/2 tsp cinnamon chips
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (these are the little brown inner seeds, green pods removed), crushed
- fresh grated or powdered nutmeg to taste
- Sucanat, rapadura or coconut sugar to taste
- optional: pinch of pink organic rose petals, small pinch of saffron, 1/2 tsp vanilla
Instructions: Bring the water and all spices to a boil. Leave out the rose petals and saffron for now. Simmer until reduced to 2 - 2 & 1/2 cups Add the tea and allow to steep about a minute (don't boil) Add milk (and rose, saffron, and vanilla if desired) Allow to warm until tiny bubbles form and you reach your desired color of rich golden brown (don't boil the milk) Serve with sugar of your choice. I recommend coconut sugar for its caramel-like flavor and low glycemic index.
Makes 3 - 4 servings