Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chai Season

I decided to try and make chai from a mint green tea I purchased from Rishi Tea, being that it contained a lot of the same spices as Masala Chai. The result: sweet and spicy. A great dessert-like tea for the cold season. Below is the brewing method I prefer to use for chais.  

Makes ~15 oz.

Small-medium sized pot
Tea strainer
Decanting pot (basically a glass teapot so you can admire the tea's color)

1.5 cups pure spring water (Filtered is fine. Remember: quality water is a key ingredient to making quality tea!)
1 tbsp honey (Cactus honey is the bomb, but any natural sweetener is fine)
1 tsp your favorite whole leaf black tea (I used Ancient Gold. Wish I had a quality Darjeeling on hand.)
1 cup whole milk

Thoroughly wash a quart sized (or larger) pot with a mild soap to remove any unwanted oils from previous use. I like to boil tap water in it afterward to be extra thorough in removing soap residue but that's not necessary. In the cleaned pot, bring water and honey to a rolling boil, then add tea leaves. Boil for 3 minutes. Add milk. Return mixture to a boil (caution: when milk starts to boil it will quickly rise and overflow if you don't keep an eye on it) and immediately remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Strain into a decanting pot and enjoy.

Optional: Return to a boil again before straining if you prefer your chai piping hot. I personally can't enjoy chai unless I'm at risk of scalding myself.

For the curious, here is a list of my favorite shops to purchase fair-trade, organic tea and teaware from:

Samovar (San Francisco) - Have yet to find a more superior vendor. Supports local artists.
Rishi Tea (Milwaukee) - Great teaware!
Chicago Tea Garden (Chicago) - Wonderful new e-business/upstart that sells a small yet premium selection, and supports local artists (gorgeous yunomi cups). On par with Samovar in terms of tea quality, if you ask me. Very promising. Please support!

These businesses also maintain relationships with their farmers.

No comments:

Post a Comment