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This is a recipe for a chai tea concentrate similar to what you would buy in the box at the grocery store. It is spicy and slightly sweet. I use an organic orange when making the zest to avoid the strange waxy coating and any pesticides. I also like to use filtered water to avoid any off flavors you can get from hard water, flouride, or chlorine. Use whatever tea you like. The bags should be the standard size ones for making a cup of tea.
- 1 star anise
- 1⁄2 whole nutmeg
- 3 cinnamon sticks, broken
- 4 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice berry
- 1⁄2 orange, zest of
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 3 quarts water
- 8 (8 ounce) bags darjeeling tea
- 1 cup honey (to taste)
- Stirring constantly, lightly toast the anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and allspice in a skillet over medium high heat. Take extra care not to burn the spices. You just want them to become fragrant.
- Let the spices cool slightly and coarsely grind in a spice mill.
- Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Reserve the seeds for another use (Oh! Like maybe some vanilla rice pudding!).
- Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices.
- Bring the water to a boil. Add the ground spices, orange zest, vanilla bean, and ginger. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags and strain the liquid. While still warm, add the honey and stir well to dissolve.
- Suggested serving is 2 parts chai to 1 part milk, water, or your favorite milk alternative. Serve hot or cold. The chai liquid can be stored in the refrigerator and used at your leisure.
- Makes approximately 12 12-ounce servings of tea.