Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Mmmmm...Chai. I just can't stop saying it. I love Chai. My first introduction to it was by my BFF Cynthia. She used to get the lattes at Starbucks, which I must say are disappointing once you've had the real deal. I always called it pumpkin pie in a cup. Not a compliment. Anyway, the drink still intrigued and called to me. And like most things I resist at first, I came around to it...not the Starbucks one, just the idea of it. One day a couple Septembers ago we went to a yummy Indian restaurant in Seattle called Saffron. The food was delicious and it was there I fell in love with chai.

Ever since that amazing cup, which came with free refills served from a coffee caraffe, I have been on a journey to replicate it. I immediately came home and started looking up recipes. For a while I was making a coffee maker version but it wasn't producing consistent results. I also tried a couple of stove top versions but for some reason couldn't get the tea right. Sometimes it was bitter, other times flavorless. I don't know what I was doing wrong but wrong it was.

Then one day it happened...Josh was talking with a co-worker who shared that she drinks homemade chai every morning and it's super easy. He mentioned how much I love chai and the heck of a time I was having finding a good recipe. Needless to say she passed hers on and today, right now in fact, I am drinking the best chai ever! It's so easy and delectable. Thank you Kajal!

The first step is to prepare the Masala, the spices that make the tea taste like chai. This can be done easily in a coffee grinder. You'll want to make enough to have around for whenever you want this delicious drink. I keep mine in a plastic baggy in an airtight container.

1 part black pepper - the original recipe called for more but it was a bit too spicy for me, 1 part seems to be just right, but feel free to play around with it.
3 parts ginger
2 parts cardamom
2 parts cinnamon

Put it all into the grinder and buzz away till it's fine ground. You can buy the whole pepper corns and cardamom seeds to get a fresher taste. The last batch I made I used all pre-ground ingredients and it is still wonderful.

Here is the exact recipe I was given:
-          Water
-          Masala
-          Loose Black Tea from Indian store
-          Sugar
-          Milk

1.       In small sauce pan add: ½ cup water, a couple pinches of the Chai Masala, 1 teaspoon of Tea, and sugar to taste.
2.       Bring the water mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
3.       Once it comes to a boil, add in ½ cup milk and stir. If at this point, you want to taste and add more of the ingredients in step 1, you can (ie masala, tea, or sugar).
4.       Bring this water/milk mixture to a boil.

Just added the milk
5.       Once it comes to a boil, it’s done.
6.       Use a strainer when pouring into cup.

Bought this strainer at Walmart!

-          I like my water/milk mixture to be equal. If you want it to be more watered down, then you can do more water less milk (ie ¾ cup water, ¼ cup milk) and vice versa.
-          The more Masala you add, the spicier it will get, so this will just have to be trial and error to figure out what you like.
-          The more Tea you add, the stronger it will get (more of a bitter taste like a strong coffee).
-          If you like the ginger taste, many people (including myself), grate a bit of fresh ginger into the water in addition to the other ingredients. This will give it a kick.

There you have it! The tastiest chai to be enjoyed at will. I will admit that I use rather large "pinches" of the masala when making my chai. Don't be afraid of the spice. I use 1-1/2 tsp sugar for this size batch. I also did an experiment to make decaf chai. I used decaf Lipton tea bags since they didn't have loose leaf decaf. I found that you need a more than one bag to equate one tsp of tea, so just keep that in mind if you'd like to try decaf. 


Jennifer said...

Okay, I'm testing this comment thing out. :) I really want to make this chai tea!! Sounds delish.

Josh and Corina said...

It is sooo good! Glad you helped us figure out the commenting business. :-) Let me know how it turns out.

Look it up!