I am so in love with tea. I don’t know where this comes from. I have this fantasy that every time I have a cup, I become a bit more English. Just a touch more milk, a drizzle of honey, and I’m convinced an accent will start to form. My grammar will get better. I’ll miraculously procure a wealth of knowledge about all the significant works of world literature. But it never comes. Leo Tolstoy’s War And Peace never gets any easier. But I’m still holding out hope…
So no one’s feelings get hurt, let me just say, that I love everyone equally in my tea collection. But, I certainly have a soft spot for chai spice tea – a combination of black tea and varied whole or ground spices. A few years ago, I stumbled across a recipe for an Indian Masala Chai tea that is truly wonderful. The great thing about teas like this is that once you have a solid base, you can let your own creativity flow and come up with new and unique spice combinations. Below is the original recipe from which I have made countless variations (although the original is quite phenomenal itself.)
The Ultimate Masala Tea
Recipe Source: Indian Food Made Easy, by Anjum Anand
1 1/2 cups water
scant 1/2 cup milk
4 black peppercorns
10 green cardamom pods
hefty pinch of fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1″ piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 tbsp loose black tea leaves, or 1 tea bag
sugar or honey, to taste
tiny pinch of salt, optional
1. Combine water, milk, spices and ginger in a small pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, making sure it doesn’t boil over.
2. Add loose tea leaves, or tea bag, to pot and let steep for about 1 minute; longer if you prefer stronger tea. Strain mixture into your cup. Add sugar or honey to taste along with a tiny pinch of salt, if using.