I’m one of the ones who thinks that Autumn should officially begin around Labor Day. The neighborhood kids are back to school, the nights are chilly, and I see a reference to Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes at least five times a day on Facebook.
Problem: I don’t drink coffee, but I want in on all of this autumnal beverage excitement! Solution: I made my own chai concentrate. Because I love chai as much as I hate coffee.
It is a super simple process. A bunch of wonderfully scented spices, black tea, and fresh orange zest gets added to a pot of boiling water. After steeping for 15-ish minutes, it is ready for straining. The house also smells ah-mazing.Mix in some honey, brown sugar, and pure vanilla and you’ve got a delicious, super concentrated chai! Since it is still technically summer and warm during the days, I like mine iced. It can be served hot or cold.
One part chai concentrate, plus . . . One part milk.
And you can keep the remaining concentrate in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. (But I doubt it you’ll have any left by then!)
Homemade Spiced Chai Concentrate
|Recipe adapted from||Tasty Kitchen|
- 4 1/2 Cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 10 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- freshly grated zest of one orange
- 10 black tea bags
- 2/3 cups brown sugar (makes a very sweet chai. Use less if you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
|Heat the water in a medium saucepan until it reaches a rolling boil.|
|Remove from heat and immediately add in the tea, spices, and orange zest. Steep for 15 minutes, slightly longer if you prefer a strong chai.|
|Remove tea bags and pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a container or pitcher.|
|Stir in the honey, sugar, and vanilla. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in a freezer-safe container in the freezer.|
|To serve the Spiced Chai:|
|Mix one part milk with one part concentrate over ice for an iced chai or heat the milk and concentrate and serve hot. Add less milk for a stronger flavor.|