Yesterday and today have been cool and drizzly. The rain is coming down fairly steadily but gently, and the overcast sky makes me want to snuggle back into bed. It seems like fall has moved in overnight; suddenly the house feels a bit cool-ish and I found myself searching my sock drawer for some cozy socks this morning. It's a day like this when you feel like drinking something warm, spiced and soothing. I decided it was time to get out my crock-pot and make another batch of Chai tea.
Since Starbucks is so (unfortunately) out of my reach, I have adapted several of my favorite Starbucks methods for my own enjoyment at home. And recently, I found this great recipe for Chai tea which I thought was perfectly lovely. If I had a better milk frother, I would say that the finished product tasted exactly like Starbucks. (My "frothed" milk tends to deflate in a matter of moments.) So I thought you all might enjoy the recipe!
You will need:
2 quarts (8 cups) water
8 bags black tea
3/4 cup sugar
16 whole cloves
16 whole cardamom seeds, pods removed (optional) [I skipped this with no ill effects]
5 cinnamon sticks [I used less since they're not as easy to find here]
8 slices fresh ginger
Milk to taste, for later [About 1 part milk to 2 parts tea is a good ratio, I think]
Combine the water, tea, sugar, cloves, cardamom, if using, cinnamon and ginger in your slow cooker. Cover, cook on High for 2 to 2.5 hours. Strain mixture and discard solids. At this point, tea may be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Stir in the milk just before serving. Serve hot or chilled.
I think you could easily adapt this recipe to use on the stovetop if you wanted it to go faster. I really enjoy this recipe and hope you will, too!