Oh. My. I had the shakes for days.
I generally don't need artificial stimulants to keep me going. Ever. I tend to be a bit like the energizer bunny by nature. Also, I'm hyper-thyroid. Caffeine is something I avoid.
Unfortunately, real chai is made with black tea. Black tea is full of caffeine.
A dilemma! I love chai. I hate caffeine. So I made it my mission to brew a terrific chai without the tea.
And I did. It's fabulous. If I do say so myself.
Here's the recipe. You make it as mild or strong as you like and as sweet [or not] as you like. I designed it so you can keep it for a while and make it a mug full at a time as you need to. Brew some for yourself and sit back for the rest of the weekend and soak up some calm to get you through the next few weeks.
This will make two quarts of chai.
- 1 star anise
- 20-24 whole cloves
- 12-14 whole alspice
- 2 heaping teaspoons of broken cinnamon bark [or thereabouts]
- 12-14 whole white peppercorns
- 6 green cardamom pods, opened so the seeds can come out
- 2 inches ginger root, sliced
- 1 quart of water
- 1/4 cup sugar [or more to taste]
If you like it mild, then strain the spices out. Add the sugar and add enough water to make a full quart. To serve, add equal parts chai and milk to a mug. If you're not using it all right away, then keep the extras in the fridge in a jar.
If you like it stronger, then leave the spices in the brew. Pour it into a jar and add the sugar. Add enough water to fill up the quart. Keep the jar in the fridge. It'll get stronger as it sits. When it's good and strong, I put 1/4 cup of the brew in a mug, add a 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk, then nuke it all until it's good and hot.