· 1 whole cinnamon stick· 6-8 green cardamom pods· 1 tsp whole black peppercorns· 3-4 whole cloves· 2 ½ cups water· 2 Tbsp grated ginger ((for less intense ginger flavor, slice instead of grating))· 3 Tbsp loose leaf black tea ((or ~3-4 black tea bags // use decaf as needed))· 2 cups dairy-free milk· Sweetener such as stevia, organic cane sugar, or maple syrup to taste
Step 1Add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves to the bowl of a mortar (or cutting board) and use pestle (or heavy pan) to slightly crush the spices. You aren’t pulverizing into a powder, just slightly crushing into small pieces (see photo).Step 2To a medium saucepan add crushed spices, water, and grated (or sliced) ginger and bring to a boil over high heat. (Note: For a less gingery chai, reduce amount of ginger and slice rather than grating). Then reduce heat slightly to medium/medium-low and maintain a simmer for 15 minutes or until it reduces by about one-third.Step 3Add tea (loose leaf or bags) and dairy-free milk of choice (we love light canned coconut) and lower heat to low. Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Then turn off heat and let steep for 5 minutes more (covered) or longer for deeper flavor.Step 4Add sweetener of choice to taste (we prefer stevia or maple syrup, but sugar is more traditional). Strain through a fine mesh strainer before serving.Step 5Keep strained, cooled leftovers covered in the fridge up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in a milk frother. Not freezer friendly.