Chai is one of my favorite beverages of ALL TIME. The beauty of chai is that it varies region to region, between coffee and tea houses, and even within families. It’s a staple that is personal, amorphous and somehow, always delicious.
If you’re in the Grover Beach area, please visit Red Bee Coffee and order a chai latte. Their chai is made in house, and you can taste the difference between a store-bought mix.
Use this recipe to start making chai at home. Typically, I make this in a batch on the weekends to drink throughout the week. It would also be great for a party! Use a half gallon Mason Jar, as it can withstand the heat of the boiling water, and it keeps measurements simple when following the recipe.
Add and substitute as you’d like. Chai can withstand personal adaptation, without compromising the integrity of the drink itself.
Gather your spices and enjoy!
Yield: 1/2 gallon (one batch fills one half gallon Mason Jar).
- 3 TB whole cloves (0.25 oz, 7 g).
- 4 sticks whole canela (~1 oz).
- 1/2 cup broken star anise.
- 1 red delicious apple, cored and chopped.
- 1 TB whole peppercorns.
- 1/4 cup sugar, then more to taste.
- 3 black tea bags.
- 3/4 cup almond milk, or other milk of choice, to taste.
- 6 1/2 cups water, to start.
- Add cloves, canela, star anise, apple, peppercorns, 1/4 cup sugar and 6 1/2 cups water to a medium-sized sauce pan. The pan should be almost full to the top with all of the ingredients.
- Slowly bring to a boil, taking care not to boil over. Turn down heat to a rapid simmer. Let cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s easiest to rest the lid at an angle so steam can escape, which reduces the risk of boiling over.
- Set a fine mesh strainer on top of the open mouth of a half gallon mason jar. Using a soup ladle, strain tea into mason jar on scoop at a time. Remove waste from strainer as needed.
- Bring some additional water to a boil in a tea kettle, on the stove or in the microwave.
- Add the tea bags to the mason jar. Extend the tea bag strings fully and place over the lip of the mason jar. Using the outer rim of the jar lid only, secure the tea bag strings to the side of the jar, leaving the mouth of the jar open to pour in liquid.
- Pour additional hot water over the tea bags until about 3/4 full, up to the 1500 mark. You want to leave room to stir and add your milk of choice.
- Let steep for about 5-7 minutes, more for stronger tea, less for weaker tea.
- Gently unscrew the outer lid and remove the tea bags from the jar, carefully squeezing out any extra liquid. Use caution, it will be very hot!
- Add 3/4 cup almond milk, or other milk of choice. Stir well. Taste. Add more milk and/or sugar as desired, depending on personal preference. I recommend starting with the addition of 1 TB of sugar, and increasing from there, tasting with each addition.
- Seal with lid and place in refrigerator. Drink within 2 weeks.