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DIY Chai

DIY Chai

The chai teas from India are legendary, and the warm aroma of simmering spices will instantly transport you there. Like many great slow-foods, the perfect cup of chai can’t be reduced to an “instant” occurrence. The assembly of essential ingredients (spices, tea, milk and sweetener) just doesn’t lend itself to short-cuts if you want full flavor. The good news is - it’s easy! And doesn’t require a plane ticket.

The first tip for making really tasty chai is starting with whole spices and loose tea. These already have more flavor potential than the powders found in tea bags because when spices and tea are ground up, they lose flavor more quickly. Next, make sure to use boiling water, and a pot or pan that will allow the water to circulate freely around the spices and tea. The boiling water extracts the most flavor from the spices and tea, and the more freely it circulate, the more flavor you get. Using these starting points as a guide - just simmer, steep and strain and you’ll have a great brew. Read on for more particulars….

Classic Indian chai is made with black tea, strong spices, whole milk and quite a lot of sweetener. The spices and tea are simmered on the stove top and then strained, and warm milk and sugar are added. This is a great brew, but not my idea of a perfect cup because of the excess of sweet. Often the reason for the excessive sweetener is to mask the bitterness of boiled tea. The sweetener tones that down. There are several ways around this but the easiest is to simply brew the spices and tea in stages.

The beauty of this DIY Chai is that you can customize it in so many ways to suit your taste. Traditional chai spices include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and clove but don’t stop there. We’ve tried everything from star anise and fennel, to coriander and orange peel with great success. The spice possibilities are endless. We keep our bestsellers, Classic Chai and Roast Chai, on hand year round. You can also switch up the proportion of spices and tea to highlight one or the other.

When it comes to selecting a black tea to go into your chai, Assam is our hands-down favorite. The bold flavor stands up well to the spices and makes the perfect base. If you want to try an herbal to avoid caffeine, Rooibos is an excellent choice, too. It also provides a solid base and unlike black teas does not become bitter with longer steeping times, so you can simmer or steep without that bitter edge creeping in. One convenience we like is to transfer the mixture to a French press pot for the final steeping because it makes the straining easy! 
You’ll also find several varieties to choose from for the last two essential ingredients - milk and sweetener - and let your own preference be your guide. We make our World Spice Classic Chai with whole milk and honey. Whether you like it spicy or sweet, taking the time to make chai fills the house with intoxicating aromas- it’s the quickest trip to India you’ll ever take. Enjoy.

Preparation

Here’s how we like to do it:

First crack the whole chai masala spices in a mortar & pestle. This helps them release maximum flavor into the brew.

Combine the chai masala spices and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, loosely covered, for 3-5 minutes, to bring out all of the flavor of the spices. (If using
Rooibos
, add with the chai masala spices.)

Add the Assam (or other plain black tea) and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the brew to steep for another 3-4 minutes.

Strain the chai into cups and add warm frothy milk and sweetener to taste.

Sit back, sip, and dream of India!

Pro Tips:
This brewing method allows you to customize the flavors to find your perfect cup. Adjust the ratio of tea and spices to suit your taste!

Don't steep the black tea longer than 3-4 minutes, or it could become bitter. If you want a stronger flavor, add more spice and tea.

Love the chai, but not the caffeine? Try Rooibos as a full-bodied herbal base.

Comments

Here's what you need
Get the Spices
Assam - Kalgar
$5.50
2 oz bag
Chai - Classic
$8.00
2 oz bag
Rooibos
$6.50
2 oz bag

DIY Chai

| Beverages

The chai teas from India are legendary, and the warm aroma of simmering spices will instantly transport you there. Like many great slow-foods, the perfect cup of chai can’t be reduced to an “instant” occurrence. The assembly of essential ingredients (spices, tea, milk and sweetener) just doesn’t lend itself to short-cuts if you want full flavor. The good news is - it’s easy! And doesn’t require a plane ticket.

The first tip for making really tasty chai is starting with whole spices and loose tea. These already have more flavor potential than the powders found in tea bags because when spices and tea are ground up, they lose flavor more quickly. Next, make sure to use boiling water, and a pot or pan that will allow the water to circulate freely around the spices and tea. The boiling water extracts the most flavor from the spices and tea, and the more freely it circulate, the more flavor you get. Using these starting points as a guide - just simmer, steep and strain and you’ll have a great brew. Read on for more particulars….

Classic Indian chai is made with black tea, strong spices, whole milk and quite a lot of sweetener. The spices and tea are simmered on the stove top and then strained, and warm milk and sugar are added. This is a great brew, but not my idea of a perfect cup because of the excess of sweet. Often the reason for the excessive sweetener is to mask the bitterness of boiled tea. The sweetener tones that down. There are several ways around this but the easiest is to simply brew the spices and tea in stages.

The beauty of this DIY Chai is that you can customize it in so many ways to suit your taste. Traditional chai spices include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and clove but don’t stop there. We’ve tried everything from star anise and fennel, to coriander and orange peel with great success. The spice possibilities are endless. We keep our bestsellers, Classic Chai and Roast Chai, on hand year round. You can also switch up the proportion of spices and tea to highlight one or the other.

When it comes to selecting a black tea to go into your chai, Assam is our hands-down favorite. The bold flavor stands up well to the spices and makes the perfect base. If you want to try an herbal to avoid caffeine, Rooibos is an excellent choice, too. It also provides a solid base and unlike black teas does not become bitter with longer steeping times, so you can simmer or steep without that bitter edge creeping in. One convenience we like is to transfer the mixture to a French press pot for the final steeping because it makes the straining easy! 
You’ll also find several varieties to choose from for the last two essential ingredients - milk and sweetener - and let your own preference be your guide. We make our World Spice Classic Chai with whole milk and honey. Whether you like it spicy or sweet, taking the time to make chai fills the house with intoxicating aromas- it’s the quickest trip to India you’ll ever take. Enjoy.

Sherrie Hahn