Today was the first morning I woke up feeling the nip in the air and the urge to make soups, chili and Chai Tea! I know.. your all probably thinking chai tea is one of those amazing teas that should be made all year long! Well, "you're right".. but for some reason it's the smell of spice in the air, stores perfumed with brooms of cinnamon, candles infused with pumpkin and ginger bread cookies lined up on the bakers shelves that call my senses to those fragrant aromas . They smell oh_so_spicy.. and so does chai tea! :)
We have this wonderful little spice shop in Temecula called
"The Old Town Spice Merchant". It's a gorgeous shop and so festive this time of year.
I have never been disappointed nor have I left empty handed when I go there to make a purchase or to just browse. You really can't leave this adorable spice boutique without a
bag of goodies!
This particular visit I did just intend to browse around with another foodie friend of mine, Celine from Celine's Cuisine. We had just stopped in after a wonderful little breakfast at Cafe Daniel in Old Town Temecula. A splendid little cafe specializing in fresh French baked goods and crepes. The most tender and sweetly filled crepes in the Southern California region!
My attention caught on some beautiful cardamom pods. I immediately knew that chai tea was on the Fall menu at the Vengo Homestead. I didn't have a recipe with me, but chai spices must be on everyones list who enter this little shop, for a recipe sat neatly at the check out register. I gathered up my spices and when I arrived home opened up my baggies and inhaled the glorious perfume of exotic fragrances. I was in heaven and SO excited at the notion of Masala Chai!
You will LOVE making your own chai! I suggest even if you don't intend to make it soon, just having the spices on hand is a good idea! I use most of them often.. well, except for the cardamom, that I save for my Masala Chai!
Masala Chai Ingredients
9 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
4 star anise
1 cup water
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
5 pepper berries
2 rounded tablespoons raw sugar
2 heaping tablespoons Cinnamon Orange Black Tea (or black tea of your choice)
Masala Chai Directions
In a mortar (or a mini prep grinder), crush the cloves, cardamom pods, star anise and blackpepper berries.
Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water and ginger and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 8 minutes.
|This gorgeous loose tea is a black tea with crushed cinnamon stick and dried orange peel.|
After spices have simmered for around 8 minutes, add the milk, loose tea and sugar.
At a low temperature, let the Masala chai simmer for 5-7 more minutes.
When it starts to get frothy turn off the heat and and let it sit for 5 minutes. Strain 2 times
through a sieve into a teapot.
As you can see from my messy stove top, I double refined this chai tea through two strainers. It wouldn't even be a bad idea to run it through a cheese cloth if you have that on hand. Enjoy your chai tea.. definitely with someone who's company you enjoy! It's so fun to make this from scratch, and so worth the taste !