Morning light slowly brightens your bedroom as you wake from a restful night’s sleep. It’s a new day and the crisp early fall air is sneaking through a nearby open window. Rather than hiding beneath the covers, you slip on a pair of cozy socks before shuffling to the kitchen to whip up something warm, spicy, and exotic with which to start your day.
Yes, a cup of soothing masala chai is exactly what you need as you welcome these early morning hours. But not the kind of sugar-laden, overwhelming concoction made from a store-bought box. No, this mixture is entirely your own, customized to your exact preferences. If you think this perfect drink doesn’t exist, you’d be wrong. You just haven’t made it yet.
Masala chai brings the kind of comfort that coffee and regular tea just can’t. It’s spicy, warming, and the perfect thing to enjoy on a brisk fall morning. I’ve long been a fan, but when I’m craving something slightly sweet, I’d rather not grab the processed version that comes in a pre-packaged box. Homemade concentrate is easy to whip up, and as an added bonus it makes your house smell incredible. Read on for the recipe, and be sure to play around with the ingredients to suit your taste – that’s the beauty of homemade.
Masala Chai Concentrate
12 crushed cardamom pods
5 cinnamon sticks
8 black peppercorns
1 medium piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 vanilla bean, sliced down the center
2.5 cups of water
2 star anise
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbsp coconut sugar or honey (to taste)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 black tea bags
Resealable glass jar
Add everything but the tea bags to the sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, shut off the heat and add the tea bags to the pot. Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes.
Strain the liquid into the glass container and allow to cool completely before covering and refrigerating. Use within seven days.
To make hot masala chai, combine equal amounts concentrate and any type of milk in a small saucepan and heat on medium until simmering. Transfer to a mug and enjoy. For iced, combine equal parts concentrate and preferred milk over ice.
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