Classic Chai Tea
About once a week I make a big batch of this tea. Then, whether I'm craving something warm and spicy or cold and refreshing, I have the base for a nourishing beverage.
2 sticks of cinnamon bark
15 whole cloves
20 cardamom pods
1 star anise
25 whole black peppercorns
4 cups filtered water
2" fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon loose gun powder green tea
1. Using the back of a knife, loosely break up cinnamon bark, cloves, cardamom pods and the star anise.
2. Add the peppercorns, water and ginger to a sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes.
3. Turn off heat and add green tea. Let steep for 3-5 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve and store in the refrigerator.
4. When ready, dilute to your liking with water, milk or a milk-alternative for a hot or cold tea time!
Time-Saver Tool Tips
-Running herbs & spices through a spice or coffee grinder jump-starts the release of aromatic oils and reduces simmer time.
-An unbleached paper towel-lined funnel is an alternative to a fine mesh sieve.
-Using the whole, fresh versions of herbs and spices is absolutely necessary in this recipe. You are infusing the water (like tea). If you use dried or powdered versions, you are going to end up with sludgy murky tea.
-If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can omit the green tea for a purely herbal experience. If you need MORE caffeine, use black tea.