Holy Moly. It has been far too long. The last month was a blur of finalizing my graduate applications. Finally, though, I can say that I have officially applied for graduate school. Wahoo!
I suddenly have loads of time, and I'm slowly remembering how I used to occupy it. Yesterday, the first weekend day since my freedom, I had about 5 different food projects going at once. It felt great. I pulled my dusty camera out and got to work documenting these projects.
This winter we've been enjoying weekly loaves of homemade artisan bread, thanks to Dave's handiwork. We've also been experimenting with some of Tamar Adler's recipes in her transformative book. And with my regular batches of almond milk, I've been enjoying some delicious chai tea.
Chai is surprisingly cheap to make from scratch. The spices should be available in the bulk spice section of most natural foods grocery stores. It takes about 25 minutes to make, and the outcome is a jarful of tasty tea. It has been a great treat in the morning when I'm feeling a bit sluggish.
The nice thing about this recipe is its pliability; you can change the balance of the spices to your own liking. I reduced the amount of cloves from the original recipe, since I am particularly sensitive to their flavor. Also, you might find that you're used to a sweeter chai, so you can easily add a few teaspoons extra of honey.
adapted from Whole Foods Market
Without milk, this chai will last in the fridge for several weeks. That way, you can mix the chai with a bit of milk for each serving. If you choose to mix all of the chai with the milk, make sure to use it within a week. You can also enjoy this tea as iced chai (see note below).
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
4 black peppercorns
1 allspice berry
1 Tbsp loose black tea (or 2 tea bags)
2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 cup almond milk or cow's milk
In a small saucepan, mix the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and allspice with 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-low for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for about 10 minutes.
Return to heat and bring to a boil. Add the black tea. Remove from heat and steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
Strain tea into a glass jar. While still warm, stir in honey and, if using, vanilla. Refrigerate for several weeks.
For each serving of tea, heat up 3/4 cup chai with 1/4 cup of milk. Alternatively, mix 1 cup of milk with all of the tea and use within a week.
Note: I found that the cold chai premixed with milk was a bit too watered down when I added ice. I would recommend mixing the chai tea with just a splash or two of milk and ice.