Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chai Tea Concentrate

 When I was in college, our dormitories had a contract with Starbucks.  The cafeteria provided only Starbucks coffee.  My particular dorm had late night food and provided Starbucks coffee beverages.  This is where I had my first chai tea latte and I was hooked.  I thought it tasted just like Christmas!  I would order one almost every day.

Eventually I worked my way up to espresso based lattes, only choosing the poor chai on occasion.  I never became a true coffee drinker, needing to sweeten the black stuff with loads of milk and sugar.  After some time and some minor health issues, I decided to stop drinking coffee and get back to tea.  I had learned through my dorm that the Starbucks chai tea lattes were made from a concentrate.  I was so excited a couple of years ago to learn that I could purchase said concentrate in my grocery store.  Yay!  No more need for $4 chai tea.

Then I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this recipe from Tasty Kitchen for chai tea concentrate I could make in my own kitchen.  I made it once and I was totally hooked.  Now I make it almost every week.  I modified the original recipe some to accommodate what I typically have in my kitchen.

Chai Tea Concentrate adapted from Tasty Kitchen user thecatnipcat
makes about 1 quart of concentrate
10 tea bags (sometimes I use all black tea, sometimes 5 black and 5 green)
4 1/2 cups boiling water
4-5 anise stars
20 whole cloves
7 cardamom  pods
dash of nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 drops orange oil
2-3 small pieces fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger

Boil water.  Steep tea bags, anise stars, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, and ginger in water for about 20 minutes.  Strain.  Mix in honey, sugar, vanilla, and orange oil.  Pour into container and refrigerate

To make tea: mix 1/2 cup chai tea concentrate with milk and heat.  (I microwave mine for about 1 minute and 30 seconds).  My sister prefers to drink hers cold and I must say, that is quite tasty in the summer.

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