I love me a little Chai tea, but it's really hard to find any that is herbal (that doesn't contain black or green tea). So, I was thrilled when Tracy M posted her Chai Tea recipe, even if it took me three months to make it. Now, Tracy must have more restraint than I do because I made this sweeter. Um, a lot sweeter.
A stock pot that will hold a gallon + of water
1/4 cup green cardamom seed pods, lightly crushed to break open
1/4 cup fresh ginger root, chopped, with skin
1/4 cup cinnamon bark, broken into chips
2 Tbsp whole cloves
1 Tbsp whole black Tellicherry peppercorns
3 star anise
1/2 cup honey
2/3 c simple syrup because I didn't want to waste a ton of honey to find out I ruined this tea
Fill your stock pot with one gallon of fresh water. Add everything except the honey and the black tea. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered. It needs the time for the spices to release their amazing-ness- but be super careful not to scorch or burn it- a watched pot never boils, and that’s good, you don’t want this to boil. Watch it.
The house will smell amazing. Children and random strangers will follow their noses to your kitchen.
Once you are satisfied that the spices have given up their all, add the honey and loose black tea (or not). Cook for another 15 mintues. If it’s too strong for you, and it will be strong, you can add some water and bring back up to a simmer. Strain entire pot over a sieve or cheesecloth, and discard spent spices.
Serve with frothy milk or soymilk (this one instance where I love soymilk). It will keep in the refrigerator for a while- but it never lasts more than a day in our house. I usually have my chai tea with milk, but I tried the soymilk here. I didn't like our usual Costco generic soymilk with it, but this drink is pure perfection with Silk's "Very Vanilla" Soymilk, which I usually find too sweet. With this tea, though, it adds sweetness and that lovely hint of vanilla. I love this cold, for breakfast.