I just finished my final assignment for the Fall semester…a twenty page policy paper on the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act.
It was a dismal affair. And I’m so glad it’s over.
But during the researching and writing I needed a break. So I made some Chai Concentrate.
I love chai. Love it. It’s my go-to beverage, but I’m starting to get wary of the full fat version I get from Starbucks.
I love chai when it’s hot and when it’s cold- and I’m always mystified by the spices. Let’s break it down.
4 1/2 cups water
8 bags black tea – I used orange pekoe
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split in half (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
1/2 cup coconut sugar, date sugar or raw cane sugar (you can add more or less depending on how sweet you like your chai)
1 – 3-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
10 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 whole star anise pods (I only used 1)
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon raw honey
First start off by boiling the water and the sugar:
After the sugar dissolves, it should look like this. Only this was not an awesome pic. But you get the idea.
And then, add in all the spices and the cinnamon sticks and zest. And simmer that spicy stuff for 20 minutes.
Get ready. It will smell AMAZING. The original recipe calls for you to wrap all the spices in cheese cloth for easy removal. I just used a strainer:
Let it all cool and try not to drink it all up. Then put it into an awesome jar and take it to your BFF as a thank you for her letting you sleep on her floor.
To drink this stuff, just add 1/2 chai concentrate to 1/2 milk. When I tried it at Shannon’s we used soy milk. It was my first attempt at soy milk since “Holly Nog-Gate 2007”. It was not half bad.
Couple of things:
It was waaaay too sweet. I added 3 parts soy milk to 1 part chai. Reducing the sugar content next time I make this stuff.
I only used one star anise- but next time I may not use any. Not a big fan of the licorice flavour, but I will add in more orange next time!
And it’s even more delicious when you have someone prepare this to go with it:
And then because you’re so happy that you finished the semester (relatively) unscathed, you take a picture of your friend’s cat like this:
And then celebrate that the semester is done: