I’ve been craving some serious masala chai lately (read “mixed-spice tea”– black tea with traditional Indian spices including cardamom, one of my favourites).
I think masala chai tastes best when you add the tea and spices directly to milk and let it simmer on the stove for a while. But I really liked foamed milk and I’ve been craving the Westernized “chai latte”. The problem is, I’m pretty sure you can’t heat the milk with the spices and tea and then foam it, so a concentrate is needed.
I like my chai low-caffeine, spicy, and barely sweet. Here’s my first attempt at a concentrate.
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 bags of commercial “chai tea” (I used PC Chai– this made it a bit spicier with less work– but I would like to try it with tea leaves and more spices)
- 1/4 chunk of nutmeg (or maybe 1 tsp ground nutmeg)
- 1 star anise
- 8 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 tsp cinnamon (maybe 1 cinnamon stick would work??)
- 1 tsp ground cloves (or probably about 4-8 whole cloves would be better)
- 1 tbsp of chopped fresh ginger (or 1 tsp of ground ginger?)
- Bring the water and honey to a boil
- Reduce to a simmer and add everything else
- Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or so
- Strain through a fine strainer (I used my tea strainer from David’s Tea) into a glass jar — a large mason jar is about the right side
To make a masala chai latte, foam 1/3 cup of milk and add it to 1/3 cup of concentrate. YUM. Tastes better than Starbucks. 🙂