The Author is very fond of tea. Black, green Oolong, and Chai. Masala Chai is best prepared with fresh spices at home. The following recipe, culled from countless hours of undocumented internet surfing, is the basic and a personal favorite. One adjusts the ingredients to taste. Vanilla Bean may be added for denizens of the Pacific Northwest who are used to it in their Chai.
Make and use your Chai spice mix by weight. For best results, use whole or broken spices, not ground! To make 3 ½ ounces, start with about an ounce of shelled green or black cardamon and a half ounce of cinnamon bark. Then be sure you use some clove and ginger, and make up the weight from your favorites from this list:
- Allspice, cracked
- Black pepper, cracked HOT!
- Cardamon, hulled
- Coriander seed
- Ginger HOT!
- Mace and Nutmeg
- Star anise
- Bay leaf
Crack, hull and otherwise prepare your spices. Once blended, the spices can be placed in a cheese cloth bag or large, easy-fill tea filters. Brew a traditional pot of strong, black tea. The Author prefers single-estate Assam or an East Freisen blend. To the tea, add an equal part of milk and the bag of spices. Slowly bring to an easy boil then reduce immediately to a simmer and steep until the aroma is just right. Add sugar or Honey to taste. Remove spice bag and serve.
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