One of my favorite drinks is chai– a deliciously spiced tea and milk drink. I used to spend big bucks at chain coffee places to get it, but I now I make it at home, saving money and easing my conscience (by not patronizing big business when I don’t have to). It’s easy to make at home, so why not give it a try?
64 ounces of soymilk (that’s 2 boxes)
12 black tea bags
6 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons whole cloves
2 tablespoons cardamom
2 whole nutmegs, cracked (put in a bag and whack it gently with a hammer)
1 tablespoon pepper berries (don’t grind the pepper)
Put everthing into a pot on the stove, and simmer for an hour. Never let it come to a boil– soymilk burns and “curdles” easily, so you want it simmering gently– just a few bubbles rising to the surface every now and again. This smells great while it’s steeping, so put it to boil on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Once it’s simmered long enough (taste it every now and again at the end to determine if the flavor is too your liking, and adjust the spices and tea as neccesary), let it cool to room temperature. Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard all of the whole spices and and tea bags. If there are still little bits and pieces remaining, you can strain it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Then you can pour it back into the soymilk containers using a funnel or pour it into closed pitchers. You can drink the chai as-is, add sugar or honey (I prefer honey) or add another teabag for stronger tea flavor when you heat it up to drink it. If you drink 1-2 cups of chai every day (like I typically do) it will last you a week in the fridge. I like to take some to work and put in the breakroom refrigerator so I always have it handy and don’t get the temptation to run out to the coffee shop. Plus, home made tastes better and it’s better for you!