Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Chai Tea From Scratch

For some time I have LOVED Chai Tea. Real Chai Tea. However I didnt drink it very often because its really hard to find anywhere that brews it from spices. Most Cafes seem to only serve packet mix Chai Lattes, which are full of un-pronounceable ingredients and are sickly sweet. 

Then I discovered Chai is actually not hard to back at home. 

As per my general method of cooking, I don't have an exact recipe for Chai. I usually just add in the same spices but each time a slightly different amount, depending on how much of each spice I have available and how I'd like the Chai to taste.

As I like to have Chai in the evenings, after dinner, I make my Chai on Rooibos Tea, which is naturally free from caffeine. I haven't been able to find loose leaf tea, just tea bags of Rooibos. This hasn't been all bad though, as it gives me an estimate of how much tea I am making.

- 50 bags of Rooibos Tea
- 50 Cloves
- 25 Star Anise
- 25 bay leaves
- 50 cardamon pods
- 10-15 teaspoons of dried ginger (powdered)
- 5-10 teaspoons of cinnamon (powdered)
- 50 black peppercorns

- Cut open bags of rooibos tea and pour into a large bowl
- using a blender/ mortar and pestle/ food processor/ coffee grinder, chop Peppercorns, Cloves, Star Anise, and Cardamon  Pods into finely, but not to a powder.
- add chopped spices, Cinnamon and Dired Ginger to bowl
- Mix in with Rooibos Tea.
- Amazing Chai

 There are two ways to prepare this Chai...

The 'instant' way is to add one teaspoon per cup to a teapot, with a mesh insert (so two teaspoons in a two cup tea pot), add boiling water, allow to infuse for 5 minutes, pour into mugs, add milk and a teaspoon of honey.

The 'long way', which results is much better tasting Chai, is to heat milk in a saucepan, add 1.5 teaspoons of chai to the milk and allow to simmer for 10-15 mins. Strain Chai and serve with honey. This is a much stronger and better flavour, however it requires more time and dishes.

Chai makes a great gift for Christmas and is delicious and full of great spices, which have many health benefits.

Homemade Chai is also easy to tailor to individual tastes. If you like it spicier, add more peppercorns and ginger, for a more 'licoricey' taste, add more cardamon pods and star anise. I personally am not a huge fan of cinnamon, so I add less that what other may prefer.

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