220 Volt Chai
Serves 4 to 5
This is a “stay-up-all-night-writing-that-presentation-and-then-go-sell-it” chai. It’s an “oh, my stars, I’ve got three days’ work to cram into the next five hours” chai. It’s a boot to the head and a bite to the tongue.
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1 tablespoon chopped gingerroot, or
• 1/2 teaspoon dried, cut-and-sifted
• 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
• 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
• 1 teaspoon allspice
• 1 teaspoon dried Siberian ginseng
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 whole star anise
• 3 cinnamon sticks
• 3 cups cold water
• 1 heaping tablespoon strong black
• 2 cups milk
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Sugar to taste
1. Bruise or crush the spices in a mortar and pestle. Simmer them with the water in a saucepan, tightly covered, for 10 minutes.
2. Warm a teapot with hot water, pour it out, add the tea leaves, and strain the hot spice water into the pot. Cover the pot with a towel or tea cozy and steep for 4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the milk to just below simmering. Off heat, add the vanilla.
4. To serve, spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (or more to taste) into each cup. Fill the cup halfway with tea and top up with hot milk. Stir.
When she isn’t tracking down food trends and scoping out gourmet groceries, Susan Clotfelter edits herb books for Interweave Press in Loveland, Colorado.
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