I love making chai in the morning, and love drinking it even more! It is delicious, a nice and grounding way to begin the day. I have gotten into the groove of making it, so it doesn't seem like much work at all and it is worth it! Here's what I do...
Ingredients (makes about 2 c)
2 cups of water
1 star anise
12 cardamom pods
1 thumb of ginger
2-3 black tea bags or 3-5 teaspoons of loose black tea
1/2 cup of milk
1-2 tablespoons of half and half or cream
First I put the water on the stove in a pot, then as it is heating up I put the star anise in, then cut or open the cardamom pods, and slice the ginger putting them in as they are ready. Sometimes, but not always, I crush the cardamom in a mortar and pestle
Then after the water comes to a boil, I let it simmer for about 10 minutes, sometimes covering it, sometimes not. Then I put the tea in, let it simmer for a few minutes, then add the milk and half and half once the tea has steeped. It is good to not let the milk boil or get too hot but there are plenty of times I have done that and has still turned out fine. Then strain it. I currently use a strainer and a larger mason jar. Since this recipe makes about 2 cups of chai, it is important to strain it all when it is done, otherwise if you are having chai solo, your second cup will be over-spiced and a bit bitter. You can sweeten to taste. I usually add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup.
Then enjoy! Taking a moment to yourself if possible to savor...