I love me a good chai latte. The problem is, I am extremely picky about my chai. I haven’t ever had any better than from Cafe Udipi in Tampa: it’s the real deal. It’s not syrupy sweet or overly milky; it is spicy, fragrant, and balanced. This recipe is oh-so-close to that wonderful chai experience (but not quite the same, because there is no Indian lunch buffet with it), and easy to make at home. It also makes a sweet gift for a tea drinker; the whole spices are beautiful. I would put the spices into a little muslin bag (mine are called “spice bags” or reusable tea bags; you could also sew up your own) with a homemade tag and instructions.
Here’s how I make it (Makes 2 cups):
- 4 whole green cardamom pods
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 3 tsp. loose black tea (or 3 black tea bags)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
Lightly crush the first four spices with a mortar and pestle (or rolling pin). Put in a small saucepan with the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it boils, turn off the heat and let the tea steep until it’s the desired strength (approximately 5-10 minutes), and pour through a fine mesh strainer. Pour into 2 cups and sweeten with honey or sugar.
As a gift, place all the whole spices, plus the ginger and tea, into the muslin tea bag. Close tightly and attach printable tag (see below). Give with printable Masala Chai instructions.
Click on the image of the labels. It should open in a window by itself. You may need to click it again to make it full-sized (it’ll probably be larger than your screen) and save it. Then print, print, print away!
The fine print:
This printable is free for your personal use and enjoyment, and is not to be altered, sold, or used for profit.
Need to catch up on any of the 25 Days of Christmas you might have missed? Here they are: