We recently had some friends over for dinner, and one of them very kindly gifted us some Masala Chai Tea from Tea2You in Borough Market. I can see from their website that their blend consists of black tea, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, and this is somewhat similar to the recipe I make at home. Which as I think it’s so delicious I thought I would share with you!
Chai Tea Base (for a Pot = 4-5 Cups)
1 Stick Cinnamon
1/2 Vanilla Pod
2 Cardamom Pods, cracked
1/2 Star Anise
2tbs Raw Honey
Optional Chai Tea Extras
Grated or Ground Ginger
Fresh or Ground Galangal
Peppercorns (particularly good during the cold and flu season, though be careful not to overpower the other flavours of the chai)
Now, I’ve seen a lot of chai tea recipes calling for tonnes more of the spices (double or triple in some instances) however I really don’t think it’s necessary. Think about how much raw material is in a tea bag – not that much! Plus, allowing the spices to infuse for a good 10 minutes gives them time to distribute through the water. Vanilla is also an optional extra, but I’ve really taken to using it in my chai due to the natural sweetness and the floral spiciness it brings to the blend.
I’ve used this blend in a variety of ways – with the masala chai teabags, with black tea, and with peppermint tea pigs; all to great success! In the first two, I’ve included milk, but with the peppermint I used straight. For Christmas I got a beautiful teapot with a separate compartment for infusing the spices in, which means the brewing continues as long as there is water in the chamber! I also reuse the spices two or three times, there is no need to change every time you make a new brew. Again, I’ve seen recipes bring to the boil on the hob, but with my chambered teapot I really don’t see the need. And I add the milk after brewing, like you would a usual black tea. I’m trying to cut down my caffeine intake, as I can feel my adrenals are a little compromised at the moment (but nowhere near as bad as they were previously) and making this chai tea is a great alternative (when it doesn’t have the black tea in it)!