Killer Chai Recipe

The key to great chai is great spices. This recipe is a little labor intensive, but if you like chai it’s well worth the trouble. 

You will need a fine mesh strainer and a mortar and pestle.

  • Loose Assam or Darjeeling tea
  • Spices: the spices I use these days I get from Burlap and Barrel 
  • Royal Cinnamon – powder
  • Wild Mesquite – powder (I know, this is not Indian, but it’s a great addition)
  • Pemba Cloves
  • Smoked Star Anise
  • Cloud Forest Cardamom Seeds
  • Nyanza Vanilla Powder (or a good vanilla extract)
  • Stone Nutmeg
  • Zanzibar Black Peppercorns
  • Fresh ginger

For my 24oz. teapot (2-3 cups) here is my formula (it scales proportionately if you are making more or less):

Put 12 oz water and 12 oz milk (of whatever kind) in a pan, heat to around 180 degrees (if you are using regular milk be careful not to boil!), leave it on a low flame

In the mortar and pestle:

  • ½ Star Anise
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 8 cloves
  • A pinch of cardamom seeds
  • A piece of nutmeg, about ¼ of a small stone

Grind all this well.

Add these spices to the hot water, along with a healthy sprinkle of the cinnamon, the wild mesquite, and the vanilla powder, and then add 3 thin slices of fresh ginger.

After 5 minutes add 3-4 tablespoons of the loose tea

Let that steep on the low flame for 5 more minutes and then strain into the pot, sweeten to taste, and your chai is ready!