Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't Shy Away from "Chai"

Made this one hot and steamy this evening!

We had damp weather throughout the long weekend here in Montreal, and today Monday, didn't feel any warmer. We started wearing our socks again. Women wearing socks at this time of year is not a sign of summer being just around the corner. But for hot tea lovers, like myself, a warm and steamy Chai Latte hits the spot and breezes away my Monday blues.

A Chai tea is a lightly spiced tea that truly warms you up and tastes really good. The combined taste of warm and sweet spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and black pepper infused in a nice ginger tea or english tea, makes me want to snuggle under a warm duvet. Can't believe I'm using these words in mid-May! Then again, who doesn't enjoy those warm moments, whether it be summer or winter.
As much as I like to stay away from big coffehouse chains, like Starbucks, I must say that their Chai Latte is quite tasty. In fact, when I don't have time to make my own Chai, I buy one at Starbucks whenever I can. And it's really the only thing I'll get there, because I think everything is so expensive at Starbucks.
But look at the picture on the left of Starbuck's Chai Latte, and the one I prepared above. Looks the same, but the homemade version tastes better. Here's a great Chai Latte recipe that you can prepare in the comfort of your own home, in your own time. Fairly easy too.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Recipe "au pif":
1 tea bag ginger tea or English Breakfast tea (if you can find Darjeeling tea, even better)
1 small cinnamon stick
5 caradomon pods, gently crush and shells discarded
5 cloves
3 black peppercorns
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups skimmed milk (or whole milk - optional) - the more milk you add, the thicker the chai.
1 tbsp raw cane sugar (or granulated sugar) - or more to taste

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan.

Remove from heat and add in the tea bag,cinnamon, caradomom, cloves, nutmeg and peppercorns.

Let infuse for 5 minutes.

Pour through fine strainer set over bowl, rinse suacepan and place the teabag back into saucepan.

Add the milk and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Serve hot.

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