Friday, July 19, 2013

Chai Tea Concentrate


I was going to go blueberry picking today but it's been raining all day. It's a lovely rain so I won't complain. Instead I was able to clean my house, complete some very important secretarial work for my husband (partially true), finish up the laundry and re-vamp my little 'ol blog a wee bit! 

What do you think of the new layout? 

But on to that chai tea. Yes, I know. Another recipe about chai. Here's the thing. I was talking to one of my many sisters about getting more cinnamon into our diets. I mentioned that chai tea is a super healthy tea that has the cinnamon plus lots of other spices that are really good for you. And guess what she had the gall to tell me?! She apparently doesn't really care for chai. Well humph I say! 

In my little attempt to change her mind, here is a chai tea concentrate (unlike the loose leaf chai I usually make) that can be tweaked easily. Basically I was trying to appeal to a taste I think she likes...almond extract. 

Chai Tea Concentrate

4 1/2 cups water
8 teaspoons black tea
2 cinnamon sticks

2 teaspoons dried ginger root
1 teaspoon whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
1 whole nutmeg slightly crushed
2 whole star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorn
1/4 cup raw honey

1 tsp. almond extract (or vanilla)

Basically what you do is pour the water into a pan, bring it to a boil and then add all the ingredients EXCEPT the honey and extract. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes covered. 

Then get your handy quart sized mason jar, put a towel and rubber band over it and strain the mixture through. If you didn't use ground ginger or nutmeg a strainer would work fine. Otherwise you will get little gritty spices in your drink which I don't particularly care for.

Stir in the honey till dissolved and lastly add your extract.

You can drink this hot or cold. I like to add a splash (or more) of milk, coconut milk, almond milk etc. 

Oh! And don't forget that you can use the herbs again and make another batch or possibly two. Either dry them back out and use them later, or just add more water right away (a little less the 2nd and 3rd times) and let it simmer again. That's usually how I do it, and then I have a couple mason jars of chai in my fridge for whenever the mood strikes me. 

Variations:

  • If you don't have access to the whole spices, powdered will work. Just use about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ginger,1/2 teaspoon cloves, 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Personally that doesn't taste as good to me, but if that's all you have it will work.
  • Depending on my mood sometimes I will add a little orange peel or rose hips or whatever else I'm in the mood for. Occasionally I will even add some echinacea root to boost my immune system. Be creative.
  • If you are watching your sugar intake, stevia works well as the sweetener.
  • If you would prefer a caffeine free version, or just for fun, you can add red rooibos instead of the black tea. Same amount. It's delicious!!! The only bummer is, using red rooibos for a second batch doesn't seem to work as well as the black tea does. It just won't be as dark, but it still tastes delicious.  
  • Using 1 teaspoon allspice instead of the star anise will yield less of a licorice taste which some people prefer. 

Chai makes me one happy lady!

And if you choose to purchase all the herbs for this recipe through my link from Mountain Rose Herbs, I will get a small percentage. That helps to keep my little blog alive. Thank you! 


Bethany
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Disclaimer:
In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend...I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor...consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much...please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It's empowering!



4 comments:

  1. Lol, I'm curious which sister doesn't like chai. :) I'll have to give this a try! Sounds good.

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  2. I really like chai, and looking forward to trying this out... yum. Thanks.

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  3. Bethany, I love chai, too... I found a mix at our Coop which, I think, is basically similar to your recipe...looks like most of the same things are in their mix... I'm thinking it might be cheaper for me to make the mix myself. I hadn't thought of making a bunch and keeping it in the frig... I always have drunk mine hot, will have to try it iced. When I am through steeping the tea, I add the same amount of milk (I use a nut milk, because I can't have dairy) as the original amount of water, 2 c.

    I didn't know all those things about nutmeg... and I haven't ever bought the real thing...always the ground, but i really like it... will start adding it to more stuff!! I hear that grating your own nutmeg is far superior in taste to the ground.
    Thanks.

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  4. It seems that people either love chai or hate it! :) For me it was an acquired taste...when I started dating James is when I really started to CRAVE it! We both love the Oregon Chai, but it's so expensive. That was part of the reason I started making this stuff. Doesn't taste quite the same, it's just delicious in it's own way. Let me know what you think when you try it!

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