Monday, October 11, 2010

A Cup of Tea

Well, that was more time than I intended to pass without posting. Alas, I have been quite busy, most recently with my cousin Jenna's wedding cupcakes. Pictures of that will be posted soon. Until then I have something else for you.

After the British invasion that took place for the wedding (the groom hails from the Mother country) it seems appropriate that I talk about tea. In the early hours of the morning I may favour coffee as my drug of choice, but when I'm writing I consume tea like a fiend. A Boston Harbor's worth of it.

That being said I can't believe I've waited this long to post this recipe. It has been so ingrained in my repertoire for the past few years that I think I just took it for granted. This recipe is the reason I keep ginger root in my freezer and whole cardamom pods in my spice cupboard. It is none other than chai tea.

And I'm not talking about that stuff you get in teabags or those lattes you get at Starbucks. The tea pictured above does not presume to be chai tea all on its own. It is merely a humble Darjeeling waiting to be turned into a nice cuppa.

For those of you unfamiliar with chai tea, it is a lightly spiced and sweetened tea that originated in India. There are many recipes out there for chai tea, but I stumbled across this one a while ago and like it so much that I've not been tempted to try any others. By no means is this the final word on chai tea.

This particular combination consists of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Some also use star anise and other spices. I enjoy the subtle spiciness of this one. It is not overpowering, nor is it cloyingly sweet. It is warm and comforting on a cold day. Its flavour manages to be both familiar and slightly exotic. It is easily one of my favourite drinks.

So as not to tease you further, here is the recipe:

Chai Tea

1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 1/2 tbsp loose black tea (Darjeeling or Assam)
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk

Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve and enjoy.

Make sure you don't let it boil over. I say this not because I think you're negligent, but because I boil it over nearly every time, almost without fail. I think it is similar to the way I burn grilled cheese sandwiches. My attention span fails me.

It makes one large mug of tea, or two very small ones. It doubles quite easily. I always serve it in my giant, green Tinkerbell mug. Firstly because it is the only mug I own that fits the whole thing, and secondly because of the inscription 'Sugar and Spice' on the inside rim of the mug. I find it too appropriate for the tea to pass up.

So even if it doesn't inspire great words to be put down on paper, at least it's delicious.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely stated, even though I am rarely cold, right now my feet are freezing and that cup of tea sounds great.