Friday, January 24, 2014

Hot Spiced Chai Tea

I've never met a Chai Tea I didn't like.  Iced, hot, coffee shop, prepackaged mix, tea bags, or whatever form it comes in: I like it!
A Teavana teapot that I love dearly!
However, I have never attempted to make my own from scratch, using spices in my pantry.
I found a recipe from Publix in The Birmingham News with all the Sunday coupons.
I have everything the recipe calls for, except the Coffee-mate.  Hopefully, I can use milk. 
Here is the recipe:
Prep Time: 5 min / Cook Time: 15 min / Steep time: 5 min / Servings: 6
1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
10 cardamom pods
3/4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
7 cups water
6 bags black tea
1 1/2 cups Nestle Coffee-mate Original Liquid Coffee Creamer
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
Combine ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; partially cover pan.  Heat for 10 minutes.
ADD teabags; steep for 5 minutes.  Remove tea bags.  Stir in Coffee-mate creamer and sugar.  Heat through.  Strain tea into teapot and pour into cups for serving.
I have several teapots.  This one from Portmeirion
is one of my favorites and is a millennium edition. 
OK; I won't need to serve 6, but I could probably drink enough for 3 servings.  So to make half, I need 1 1-inch piece of ginger, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cloves, 5 cardamom pods, less than half a tsp peppercorns, 3 1/2 cups of water, 3 teabags, 3/4 cups of creamer and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Got it.  I will use ground cardamom since that's what I have; maybe 1/2 teaspoon and we'll see how it goes. 
I'll begin by using my electric tea kettle to heat the water.  That saves so much time!  If I am going to put this into a teapot, I'll need to temper the teapot which as you know simply means to preheat it with hot water so that the beverage stays hot longer.  Thus, I'll boil additional water.  While that's heating, I'll place my spices into a mesh bag.  That makes it easy to remove the spices later.  
Hope the ginger is the right amount of thinness.  I usually grate the ginger if I want a little to go a long way.
The spices go into the saucepan.  Since I preheated the water in my teakettle, I just pour the 3 1/2 cups into the saucepan to bring back to a boil with the spices.  
After 10 minutes, the teabags are added for an additional 5 minutes on the stovetop to steep. 
To speed things up, I preheated the milk in the microwave, so I add the warmed milk to the spice mixture and then the brown sugar, making sure it is all nice and steamy.
Now to pour out the water in the teapot, and pour in the chai tea in its place and put the tea cosy on top.  Side note: If you don't have one, a tea cosy is quite simple to make, and it keeps the beverages nice and hot during tea. Mine is made from two basically egg-shapes but flattened on the bottom, large enough to fit over the tea kettle, lined and interlined with the thinnest of foam rubber. It really holds the heat in.
The result?  A simply delicious cup of hot spiced chai tea!
The ground cardamom worked well in place of the whole pods. The Coffee-mate may make for a richer tea, but this is perfectly wonderful using 2% milk.  If I changed anything, it would be to add less sugar, perhaps a quarter cup instead of a third cup, and if I were making the full batch, cut it back to 1/2 cup.  As with everything sweetened, that's a matter of taste. 
I've had my second cup, so the rest will go into the refrigerator for a quick warm-up tomorrow. 


  1. This sounds amazing. I am all for making your own tea flavors and I love me a spicy tea. I think I am going to have to use your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for writing, Candy. Hope yours turns out as delicious as mine!