Homemade Chai Tea

Fragrant, spicy, sweet chai is one of my favorite teas. I've been hearing about my brother-in-law's homemade chai for a couple of years now and it just hasn't worked out for me to sample it at their house. If you recall, this is the same sister and her husband who introduced me to Spanish Cafe con Leche last year. When they tell me that something is delicious, I tend to believe them.

I finally remembered to get the recipe from them and had a chance to make it myself. I had high hopes for this recipe and it did not disappoint. After I enjoyed my cup of tea, I poured the remaining chai mixture into two small jars to store in the refrigerator and reheat over the next few days.

The recipe doubles perfectly and would be a great way to make and keep several days worth of morning chai ready to drink with just a few minutes of warming on the stove or in the microwave.

Homemade Chai Tea
Yield: 2-3 servings

3 cardamom pods, lightly cracked open with the back of a spoon
6 whole cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4" slice of fresh ginger
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup half and half
1-2 tablespoons light brown sugar or honey, adjust according to taste (I prefer the brown sugar.)

Place the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, peppercorns and bay leaf in a medium size saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil. Allow this to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes.

Add the tea leaves and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on medium for 5 minutes. Add the half and half and the sugar. Stir for about a minute, over low heat, until steaming. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a teapot or mugs. Enjoy!

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