On a cold winter afternoon, when the holidays or the work week has had me running in circles, one of my favorite ways to relax is with a nice hot drink. When I first started going to coffeehouses in college I fell in love with chai tea. The sweet spices always reminded me of drinking a pumpkin pie. It took me back to that warm happy feeling you get at Thanksgiving when finishing off a great meal with grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie. I could enjoy that feeling all year round. But like most coffeehouse drinks, this gets expensive. And what you get in most coffeehouses is really just chai poured from a box. I can do that at home, but that box has plenty of funky ingredients in it. One day while flipping around the classic cookbook Joy of Cooking my husband noticed a recipe for chai tea. On a cool Florida winter afternoon, we tried our hand at a homemade chai tea latte. The original recipe calls for more sugar then we prefer, but the spices were very nice. At a glance the ingredient list seem like it’s more work then it’s worth. But I promise this is so much better than any store bought product out there. And you can find all the spices in your local grocery store. We’ve modified the Joy recipe a little since we first tried it that winter. It’s now become one of our favorite afternoon pick-me-ups.
Adam’s Chai Tea Latte
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 16 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 star anise pod
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1-inch strip of fresh ginger (or 1 thick-cut piece of candied ginger)
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp black tea leaves
- Lightly crush cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns.
- Combine remaining ingredients EXCEPT black tea leaves in medium sauce pan
- Bring to just a boil
- Remove from heat and cover. Allow to steep for 20-30 minutes (your patience will be rewarded)
- Return to heat, bring back to a boil.
- Remove from heat again and add tea leaves.
- Cover and steep for 3-4 minutes
- Strain out spices and tea leaves and serve.