A few years ago now, before Chai Lattes became all the rage, a friend of mine gave me a recipe for authentic Chai which she got from some "hippie" friends. I'd never heard of Chai before that but the spices in the recipe were all favourites of mine so I gave it a go and I was sold.
Chai Spices. Photo courtesy of Hour for Tea Blog
This recipe is 50-50 water-milk. Feel free to change it according to your personal preference. Reserve some milk to froth to add to the tea before serving if that's how you like it.
4 cups soy milk 1 whole cinnamon stick 1 bay leaf 2 inches of grated ginger
8 cloves (ground in a pestle and mortar with the cardamom) 8 cardamom pods (approx 4 seeds per pod. Remove the sees and throw the pod husks away)
2 teaspoons green tea leaves
Add the water and milk together.
Warm it up as high as possible without bringing it to the boil.
While it's warming up, grate in some fresh cinnamon.
Add the remaining cinnamon stick.
Add the bayleaf.
Add the grated ginger.
Add the ground cloves and cardamom
Let this simmer for a long time for the flavours to release and develop.
Add the tea leaves last so that the tea doesn't have a "stewed" taste.
Strain before serving.
It's all very personal so you might want to increase/decrease the above spice quantities until you get the taste you like.
Serve with a dollop of honey stirred through – divine!