Monday, March 23, 2009

How about a nice cup of chai?

To utter the words chai tea is to be completely redundant. That's like saying tea tea. Orginating in India, chai is the Hindi word for tea. It often refers to Masala Chai which is a stimulating combination of black tea infused with milk and spices that is savored for its rich, complex flavors. As with all spice blends, there is much variation from kitchen to kitchen. Most commonly, though, the spices used will include ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, clove, allspice and black pepper. As SensibiliTeas, our very popular chai blends use cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger and black pepper. Many feel chai produces a warming, soothing effect and a serene sense of well-being. One cup is usually followed by another.

But what if you were out of chai, your favorite tea shop was closed and you still craved a nice cup of chai? Here's a recipe I've rarely shared, but admit to using it myself with outstanding results.
Try it ... and let me know what yo
u think!

1 14oz can of condensed milk (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Blend spices with the milk and place in a clean dry jar. Cover tightly with a lid.Place in the refrigerator. The longer it stays, the better it gets.To use, stir the mixture and scoop out 2 TBSP or so into a cup of strong hot black tea (2tsp black tea to 12oz of water)

The best teas for this are Assams or Assam blends like Scottish Breakfast or Afternoon With Aunt Faye, though great results can also be obtained with Java Kertasarie or some of the Ceylon teas like Ceylon Kenilworth, Ceylon Vithanakande or Ceylon Lumbini (Vithanakande and Lumbini are new to the shop and not yet on the website, but both are outstanding Ceylon teas)


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