Classic Chai + Spring is Coming

Spring is on its way! The birds are singing every morning and the weather is slowly getting warmer. It has been mostly overcast and rainy in Atlanta the last few weeks but I'm looking forward to all of the Spring growth that the rain will eventually bring. Daffodils and a few other flowers and trees have already begun to bloom and grow. I love the anticipation that comes with the changing of each season.

While it is getting warmer, it's still pretty chilly most days so I've been keeping warm with a double batch of my go-to chai.

Classic Chai - serves two

- 1 cup water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves       
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp black tea (Assam or Ceylon)
- 1-2 tbsp honey, to taste

1. Heat water and milk over medium heat until simmering.
2. Turn off heat and add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper, ginger, and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Cover and steep for 20 minutes.
4. Return milk mixture to medium heat until simmering. Stir often to keep it from boiling over and scalding the milk.
5. Turn off heat and add the tea. Steep for five minutes.
6. Strain chai and add honey to taste.

I generally store the chai in a jar in the fridge for no more than five days. Enjoy, friends!



Pudina Chai

One day at the coffee shop where I work, an older Indian man came in and ordered a chai latte. While he waited for it to be made, he asked if I had ever tried mint chai. I had never even heard about it. The gentleman gave me a basic recipe and, intrigued, I made a small batch a day or two later. The recipe mixes ginger, mint, honey, and tea to make a more mild and refreshing cup of chai. The ginger comes out more strongly in this recipe without the pepper and other spices to compete with it.

Pudina Chai - serves two

- 1 cup whole milk
- 1.5 cup water
- 1 inch fresh ginger, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp black Darjeeling tea

1. Heat milk and water together over medium heat until simmering.
2. Remove from heat and add ginger and mint. Cover and steep for twenty minutes.
3. Return to simmering and add tea. Remove from heat and steep for five minutes.
4. Strain tea and add honey to taste.