About This Recipe
Note: You can store the chai concentrate (without the milk) in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks. Just add milk at a 1:1 ratio when reheating. If you have a milk frother, now’s a great time to break it out!
- 1 quart (1 L) water
- 1-inch piece (2.5 cm) of fresh ginger root, sliced (25 g)
- 4- or 5-inch (10 or 12 cm) cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 1/2 tsp whole allspice berries
- 1 tsp whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1 whole star anise pods
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 whole black cardamom pod, lightly crushed (optional; it adds a nice smoky flavor)
- 1/4 cup (30 g) rooibos loose-leaf tea (or 8 tea bags)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
- 1 quart milk (1 L), any type, for serving
Step 1In a medium saucepan, bring the water and spices to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the chai spices for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, then add the rooibos. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Press or squeeze as much of the liquid out of the tea and spices as you can. Stir the honey into the tea concentrate. If you aren’t serving it immediately, pour it into a jar with a lid and stash it in the refrigerator once it’s cooled to room temperature.
Step 2To serve, fill mugs halfway with warm chai and top off with warm milk.
Level Up: Try the recipe with lapsang souchang tea instead of rooibos for a smoky (but caffeinated) version or add a broken dried chile to make a spicier version
Try It With: Samosa, vada pav, or your favorite cookie for Indian-style afternoon tea