Dinky Manor

Planned Leftovers: Our House Chai Tea Recipe

Since we inherited a ton of tea and a lot of duplicate spices from our amazing English neighbors when they moved back to the UK last month, I’ve decided to downsize our spice and tea collections by making a lot of hot chai this fall and winter. Chai is delicious way to use up all those random tea bags and holiday baking spices before they get stale.

Since this chai is so heavily spiced, I use the cheapest, most generic teas to make this, as any delicate tea flavors will be overwhelmed. I tend to buy whole spices as they stay fresh longer, but you can absolutely use ground spices instead. You’ll just need to wait a little bit longer for everything to settle to the bottom before you pour, or use a finer strainer.


Fill a pot with:

6 cups of water
2 tablespoons of black peppercorns

You can use a mix of five or 6 of the following spices of your choosing. Add one teaspoon of each spice to the water:

Star Anise

In addition you can also add half a teaspoon of Mace or Cloves to the pot.

Bring the water and the spices to a boil. Add 4 tablespoons of loose black tea or six tea bags to the water. Remove from heat.

Steep for five minutes.

Strain and serve with honey and milk to taste. This will serve up to 5 people.

One Comment

  1. anonymous
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Proper Chai is not a hodgepodge of whatever old leftover spices you have mixed with cheap tea. Yeech! Disgusting!!!

    “Chai” is Hindi for tea. That’s it. Masala Chai means spiced tea. To make this, use some decent tea. Make a small container of tea spice in these proportions: 2 parts ground cardamom, 1 part ground cinnamon, 1 part ground cloves. Mix that together and store in a small tightly sealed container. When you want a cup of spiced tea, for each cup add anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of tea spice. Sweeten the tea with sugar and serve with milk, not lemon juice, not plain. In fact, Indians typically make masala chai like this: Bring the required cups of water to boil in a saucepan, not a kettle or microwave. Add milk in the amount you desire, then add loose tea, sugar and as much tea spice as you want. Keep it on the fire until it bubbles up like it’s going to boil over, then turn off the heat and strain it into a cup or cups and serve. Now, that is real chai. You’ll see how much better it tastes than all that stuff you’ve been putting into it.

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