Fall is definitely in the air. The mornings and evenings are crisper, the leaves are starting to turn colour and fall, and the day time high is having trouble reaching double digits (Celsius!).That means it is the perfect time for chai. We’ve made chai flavoured baked goods in the past, but now we’re taking it back to the original today!
Fun fact: Did you know that chai actually means tea? So when you say chai tea you’re actually saying “tea tea”? Anyways, we digress. Masala chai originated in India and is what most North Americans would consider to be chai with a mixture of black tea, spices and milk.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to make with fairly standard ingredients. Ginger, spices, milk, and black tea are the main components that go into it. We used an English Breakfast for ours but really any black tea would work. We also used cow’s milk but you could definitely substitute soy, almond, coconut, etc.
In addition to the traditional spices used (cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom), we also opted to add black peppercorns and fennel seeds for an added kick. You can leave them out and still end up with a delicious tea though or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could experiment with adding spices like nutmeg, star anise, and whole cloves.
How ever you decided to make this tea, it’s sure to be a lovely addition to the chilly days of fall! Perfect when snuggled up in a warm blanket reading a book or after a fun day on the slopes!
Go make tea.
Sweet and Spicy Chai Tea
1 1/2- inch (about 28 g) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 3-inch cinnamon stick, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife
6 black tea bags (we used Tazo English Breakfast)
14 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 black peppercorns
2 3/4 cups milk (we used 2%)
1/4 cup agave syrup (honey or maple syrup could also be substituted)
- Start by combining the ginger, cinnamon, and 3 1/2 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower heat and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by a third and is very fragrant; about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the tea bags, cardamom, fennel seeds, and peppercorns and let steep for 2 minutes.
- Return the pot to medium-high heat and stir in milk and agave syrup. Cook, stirring occasionally and keeping a close watch, until the mixture begins to foam up and boil; about 5-8 minutes.
- Immediately remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Strain the chai through a fine-mesh sieve into a teapot or pitcher and serve. Enjoy!
Inspired by this recipe.