Perfect Day for Chai

Oh, it’s a rare snow day here in Albuquerque, yipee!   And nothing can diminish the splendor of a novel snow day, not even waking to the sound of the dog vomiting at 6 a.m. (poor Velma)!  No school! No work! I’m sitting at my computer  (still in my pajamas, how decadent is that?) getting ready to make a nice cup of chai because this is the perfect weather for it.  If you’ve  never indulged in the spicy tea that originated somewhere in India or parts nearby, it’s worth a try. The “warming spices” (ginger, black pepper, cinnamon) actually incite a glow in the belly and help with circulation, and the health benefits of fennel are too varied to list here; very comforting in a chilly studio with only  an iPod and space heater to keep me company.  I prefer homemade chai because it’s more flavorful than commercial brands and I can control the sweetness.  I’ve posted my favorite recipe below.

Today isn’t all snow and tea, though. I’ve also just listed a few new items in my Etsy store (including the chai-perfect cup above), and will also continue working on a “turtle family” that was recently commissioned. I’ll post pictures of those creatures later this week. Here is a peek at the new listings. Have a great February first.

Medium Apple Blossom Bowl, 4.5 in. h x 4.5 in. w, wood fired stoneware

Apple Blossom Bowls (pair), wood fired stoneware

Small Flower Cup, 4.75 in h. x 3.25 in. w., wood fired stoneware


Best Chai

Boil 5 minutes, then steep 10 minutes:
1 Tbs fennel or anise seed+
6 green cardamom pods+
12 cloves+
1 cinnamon stick
1/4″ ginger root, sliced thin
1/4 tsp black pepper corns+
2 bay leaves
7 cups water

+lightly grind together in spice or coffee grinder

Add, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes:
2 Tbs Darjeeling tea

Add:
6 Tbs honey or brown sugar
1 cup milk

*Note:  I adjust the spices, sugar, and milk to my tastes.  Also, I make the spiced tea, strain, and store in the refrigerator, then add milk and sugar per cup because it keeps longer that way.  And I sometimes substitute vanilla soy milk (I like the Silk brand) to eliminate dairy… super yum.

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2 thoughts on “Perfect Day for Chai

  1. hi laura,
    your post had me itching to make some of your favorite chai. had a question about the recipe though. the 3rd line down says 12 cloves… is that garlic or something else? not sure. sounds good though

    • Hi Jim, glad you will have the opportunity to try this recipe! Cloves are a spice, usually used in spiced cider or some types of baking. Ground cloves are powdery and come in a jar (don’t use this for chai); you can find whole cloves in bulk at Whole Foods and probably similar stores. Good luck, and let me know how you like it! Oh, and another optional ingredient is fresh vanilla bean, also available at Whole Foods or your local natural food store/co-op… cut into 1/2″ lengths and add to other ingredients in the pot.

Talk to me! I spend too much time alone in the studio.

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