I recently wrote out my recipe for chai for a group of friends. I thought I would share it here, since you may find it comforting to prepare cup of tea, that is warming and spiced for good health. Enjoy!
Preparing a cup of chai requires careful attention – the subtle flavors of the spices infused into the tea depend on your patience and attention, and give you an opportunity to practice being mindful and present.
First, measure a cup of water and pour it into a small pot. Bring the water to a boil. While you wait, cut a ¼ inch piece of ginger root and peel the skin. Pound the ginger in a mortar with a pestle, allowing the juices to seep out. When the water comes to a boil, pour some into the mortar and return it with the ginger into the pot. Now, pound a piece of cardamom with the pestle and add some water to return along with the crushed cardamom pod. Drop a black peppercorn and a clove into the pot. If you wish, you could add a ½ inch piece of a cinnamon stick, however, I prefer my chai without cinnamon. Reduce the heat to a simmer and place a cover on the pot. Pause and relax, allowing the spices to infuse the water for about 3 minutes.
Measure and pour a half cup of milk (or alternative) into the boiling water. Allow time for the mixture to heat thoroughly. Finally, add a tablespoon of black tea leaves. At this stage, attention supplants patience. Stir gently and the brown color of infused tea will emerge. The gradual darkening from a light tan to a light brown indicates the strength of the tea. When the color of the chai suits your palate, pour it through a strainer into your favorite mug. Sweeten as you wish and find a peaceful chair to relax in while you sip your warming chai!