Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chai Tea Concentrate

In my group of friends, I'm known as the tea lady. No, seriously. I have an entire cabinet and wall in my kitchen dedicated to all the delicious tea I collect and drink on a daily basis.

I think I may have an addiction... One that can easily be fed with this delicious recipe.

It's a cheap alternative to the store bought stuff, and I can guarentee you'll never want coffee shop chai lattes ever again!

Start out by boiling a large pot of water.

In the meantime, get together your ingredients: black tea bags, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods, whole cloves, chopped fresh ginger, orange zest (I didn't have any oranges on hand, so I used orange spice tea bags), ground nutmeg, ground black pepper, vanilla extract, honey, and brown sugar.

When the water comes to a boil, throw in the tea bags and spices. Take the pot off the heat.

Stir all the ingredients together and allow this mixture to steep for about 20 minutes or so. You can steep it for longer if you want stronger tea, like I do.

When the steeping is done, line a wire strainer with cheese cloth or paper towels, and pour the tea through.

This process may take a little while if you don't have any cheese cloth. Paper towels work but not as well; they aren't as porous. 

When you're done, mix in the vanilla, brown sugar, and honey until everything has dissolved completely.

Pour the concentrate into a storage container. It'll keep fresh in the fridge for about a week or two.

You could also freeze some of it to use in coffee or smoothies in the future!

And to make the perfect chai latte for a crisp fall evening: mix 1 part chai with 1 part milk. Now grab a blanket and Harry Potter, and you'll be good to go!

Chai Tea Concentrate
(Makes 8 cups)

9 cups of water
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
14 whole cardamom pods
5 whole star anise pods
20 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
2 teaspoons orange zest, or two orange spice tea bags
20 black or green tea backs
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons vanilla

1. Bring water to a boil. Mix tea bags and spices into the water and take off of the heat.
2. Allow tea mixture to steep for 20 minutes, or more. 
3. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined wire strainer into a large bowl 
4. Stir in the vanilla, brown sugar, and honey until all dissolved.
5. Pour into sturdy storage containers, or chill in ice trays. 
6. To make chai latte: mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk. Ratio differs by taste. 

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