Since travelling in India I have always loved chai tea. Whenever I drink it I am always transported back almost twenty years to my first visit there. I remember sitting on a platform in Bombay waiting for my first train across India and being sold cups of wonderfully sweet chai tea while I waited. It was always served in tiny terracotta pots, almost like a shot of tea really and only cost just a couple of rupee a cup, a far cry from the tea prices of Starbucks. Anyway, a very good friend of mine Kate has given me this recipe of her divine chai tea to share. It’s a perfect spice blend to warm the hearts at this cold time of year. Make the dry ingredients up and leave to infuse for a few weeks before making the actual tea. Finding a lovely beautiful tea tin to store it in is a must!
70g (half a regular sized packet 125g) Loose black tea- Assam is a good choice
2 x cinnamon sticks – crushed
30 x cardamon pods – crushed
15 x cloves – crushed
30 x black peppercorns – cracked
1 x star anise – broken up
1 x nutmeg – finely grated
Use a pestle and mortar to crush up your spices, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, black peppercorns and star anise. Work them individually, then add them to your loose black tea. Grate in your nutmeg using a fine grater. Store in a tin for a few weeks.
To make the drink itself….
Place 3 cups of water in a pan and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and add 2 tsp of your tea blend, 2 tsp of honey and finally add a slice of fresh ginger.
Place back on the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add milk to taste, bring back up to simmering.
Serve in your finest mugs, whilst wearing warm woolly socks and sitting in front of a fire.