November 27, 2010

Chai Tea

In Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (Canada), there is a Starbucks next to a gas station next to a Wal-Mart.  We stopped our U-Haul at the gas station and I went into the Starbucks to get our drinks for the road (after buying gloves at the Wal-Mart because that was the day in September that it began snowing on our journey to Alaska).  Scott likes chai tea.  So I said to the barista, "Tall chai tea".  She looked at me like I was from another planet.  "You mean like a tea?".  I said, "Yes, a chai tea."  "Oh," she said, "Hmmm...okay."  She plopped a teabag into a cup of hot water and handed it to me.  I, being someone who had never drank chai tea or ordered, was a little confused, but whatever, she was the one who worked at Starbucks after all.

Turns out, what I wanted was a chai tea latte and she didn't clarify the difference when questioning my order.  Scott wasn't too happy about his tea bag and hot water ha  ha   ha.

Anyway, after being in Afghanistan, Scott said that they had the best tea in the world over there.  After all, that's where chai tea originates from.  I found a recipe just this morning, and decided to give it a go.  Incredibly simple.  We had all of the ingredients anyway, so this was free.  At Starbucks, it's at least $4.00.  And apparently, this tea recipe is "Afghan-quality".

Chai Tea
adapted from Taste of Home
2 cups of water
2 regular tea bags
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom seeds, crushed (I did not have these, so I threw in a dash of allspice.  Feel free to use nutmeg also.  My grater was in the dishwasher so I used the allspice.)
1 whole clove
1/2 t. ground ginger
2 1/2 cups of milk (I used skim)
1/3 cup of sugar

(I also cut this recipe in half so as not to waste leftovers.  As written, it serves 4.)

In a small saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the milk.  Return to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Take off the heat and stir in sugar until dissolved.
Ladle into mugs and serve with whipped cream. 

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