So, yeah let’s face it, the Chai Tea Latte Mocha Frappuccino Grande bullshit you get in Starbucks is putrid. Most people don’t know what real chai is. Or that “chai” means “tea” and when you say “chai tea latte”, it translates to “tea tea latte”.
Kinda like “Sahara desert” means “desert desert”. Or “Los Angeles Angels” means “The Angels Angels”
So today, I will educate you all on how to make the best chai you have ever had.
The first step to making a good chai is to eliminate or minimize water. Yeah, that’s correct. You heard me right the first time. Water-based chai’s, while they do the trick, are simply too watered down and feel “thin”. To make real chai like they have it back in India, you need to substitute the water for milk. If you make that one change, your chai will taste 10x better.
Keep reading for the rest of the recipe.
Original Recipe (makes 1 serving)
– 2 cardamom pods
– 4 black pepper corns
– 1 tsp. grated or julienned ginger
– 1/8 tsp. of chai masala powder
– 1 cup milk (low fat or otherwise; the fatter the better..haha)
– 1/4 cup water
– 1 tsp. black tea (any black tea, but Darjeeling or Kenyan varieties are best)
– sugar to taste
1. Combine the cardamom, peppercorns, and ginger in a mortar and grind roughly (if you don’t have the chai masala)
2. Combine all ingredients, including milk, water, and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat.
3. Once the tea boils over (and I mean boils over the edges), simmer on low for another 4 min. until the chai turns a deep brown color.
4. Filter through a sieve and serve piping hot.
Bam! Just like that. The best chai you will ever have.
You can easily turn this into a digestive (or an early morning boozy pick-me-up) by cutting back on the milk and making up the difference in alcohol. Recipe as follows:
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1-1/2 oz. Amarula
– 1/2 oz. Kahlua
Follow the same procedure as above. Filter the tea and stir in the Kahlua, Amarula, and sugar. Let it cool down naturally or in the fridge.
Serve over ice.
The delicious combination of ginger and cardamom is by far, the best way to wake up in the morning. There’s simply nothing else that beats it. Except for maybe some equally delicious coffee from Phil & Sebastian.
Making the chai with milk makes it fuller, thicker, and “luxurious.” In Hindi, the phrase “kadak chai” is used, which means “strong tea”. The full meaning of the word “kadak” is lost in translation, but if you want some kadak chai, this is the only way to do it.
I found adding the Amarula and Kahlua changed the taste profile of the chai, but not so much so that I couldn’t taste the cardamom anymore. It definitely tasted better chilled, over ice than when it was served hot, so I would try it that way.
Let me know how you guys make out!