I would like to present to you one of my all-time favorite things to drink, make, and give as a gift. There are few things I love more than homemade gifts, which might be why I adore this chai tea so much!
The ingredients are easy to find, inexpensive, and simple to assemble. There are endless packaging possibilities, which (to me) is one of the most fun parts of this project! You can pack this tea in a small mason jar, a decorative jar, or a cute tin! I like to tie hanging tags with brewing instructions around the jar, and pair with a mug or tea infusing ball.
Without further ado, please enjoy this fabulous recipe for homemade chai tea!
Chai Tea makes about 12 strong servings Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
- 1/2 cup loose black tea
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rainbow peppercorns (I like my chai with a little spice!)
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 15 cardamom pods, split in half with a knife
- 3 tablespoons of candied ginger, chopped finely
Place the cinnamon stick, fennel, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves and split cardamom pods in a dry frying pan. Toast over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant. Use a heavy-bottomed glass to crush the spices in the frying pan once cooled (or a mortar and pestle if you're fancy.) I break my cinnamon stick up with my hands, since I find it too tough to crush.
In a bowl, combine the crushed spices, loose black tea, and candied ginger. Mix to combine. Place in storage vessel of your choice, and enjoy drinking or giving as a gift!
Brewing makes tea for one
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of chai, placed in a tea ball or tied cheesecloth
- Sugar or honey to taste
Bring the water to a boil and add chai. Turn off the heat, and let tea steep for 5 minutes. Add the milk, turn stove back on and reheat until hot.
Remove pan from heat, carefully remove the hot tea infuser, and pour into your favorite mug. Sweeten your tea to taste and enjoy the fruit of your labor!
A few notes:
- I always store my tea in an airtight container to preserve it's freshness, so be sure your jar or tin has a tight seal.
- The chai can be brewed using a french press pot. Add tea and boiling water to press pot, steep for 5 minutes, then press. Tea can then be poured into a small pan and heated with milk.
- I enjoy a very flavorful chai, but if you enjoy more mellow spices, reduce the peppercorns to 1 teaspoon and only use 12 cardamom pods.
- You can VERY successfully make this recipe in larger quantities. For Christmas gifts, I made 16 jars of chai to give as gifts (so I just made the above recipe multiplied by 16.) I would recommend toasting your spices in smaller quantities if you're going to make a huge batch, just to ensure they're all toasted evenly.