Lovely Cup of Chai

Alright,  my blog topics are all over the place.  One theme I recognize through out my posts is reference to those little surprises in life that represent, EASY when you thought surely, HARD.  Take Chai for example.  Have you tried it?  Chai means tea in many cultures.  In this country we've come to know it as a spicy tea drink usually mixed with milk.  A combination of cardamon, ginger,cinnamon, and black could it be wrong?  It  produces a warming, soothing effect.  I don't know if it's the spices themselves or the whole experience. I do know it gives me a sense of well being.  I can't really explain it.  I also know it's difficult to resist a second cup.  Once I discovered it I craved it. As is often the case with new love you seek it out. You go back and back to it's origins.  Then as if magic, it appears in more and more places. You can grab a cup at most coffee shops, Starbucks included.  Warm or cold whatever you fancy.   I then began to find it at various stores in those cardboard cartons they're packaging so much in now.   Take it home, add milk....ahhhhh!

I believe it was after the second carton that I realized what a rip off it was but I continued my addiction.  Let's see...the carton had about 4 servings (mugs) and cost almost $5 and you had to add your milk of choice too.  If you bought 4 tea bags you wouldn't be close.  Now mind you I'm not trying to be critical.  I know products take a lot of care to make but as is often the case you can do it a lot more economically on your own.  On top of the economics if you buy quality ingredients you'll often have a better outcome.   I know, it's only a rip off if you buy it but I was!  You can buy the spiced tea bags but somehow I still wasn't getting the same result.  Truth is, I went without my occasional fix for sometime.  Then, the other day I came across the recipe.  So, here it is....that easy, simple fast surprise recipe for Chai tea and I'm telling you it's the best I've ever had.

Chai Tea 

1 teaspoon peppercorns
8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
Star Anise
6 black tea bags
1 Cup of milk (almond, coconut, whole, whatever your choice)
2 Tablespoons sugar

Lightly crush your spices and place in a saucepan with 6 cups of water.  Bring your water to a boil and add the tea bags.  Remove from heat and let steep for desired amount of time.  For me it's when I got back to it. I believe it was actually several hours.  Strain the mixture and it's ready to go.  

Here's what I did.  Strained the mixture, added the almond milk (I had some left from someone's visit and it sounded like a good way to use it) and stored it, mixed in the fridge until ready to use.  When I want some I pour it into my cup and heat it, then I add the desired amount of sweet which I must admit I like.  Something about the sweetness up next to those dark, intense, um, ummmm...

I enjoy an afternoon cup of tea but somehow the spices and the milk  give you that cozy comfort that I often need in the middle of the afternoon. 

When your facing THIS...a warm cup of comfy is ALL RIGHT!