Wednesday, September 19, 2012

HOMEMADE CHAI


I love chai. I don't know if I love it more than coffee, but it may be a very close second.
As you know, Autumn is right around the corner. Actually, in 3 days! Ohmygoodness, yay!

We all know coffee-shop chai is super expensive and we all know everyone wants an alternative to spending  their hard-earned dough at a coffee shop so we're all looking for DIY ideas. Well, this one worked.

I got this recipe from {Never} Homemaker's blog. I'm pretty amazed at almost how perfect it is. When I read it I completely doubted it and thought I'd be making a pinstrosity and have to throw it all away. I was gladly mistaken. However, I did alter it a bit. The recipe calls for ground ginger and I absolutely hate ginger. It's a nasty taste. I imagine it has something to do with some of the chai flavors I don't like. *cough*starbucks*cough*

I followed the recipe minus the ginger and black pepper.

Chai
3/4 cup dry black tea
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix all the ingredients.

I cut open a bunch of Lipton tea bags (I'm not a tea connoisseur so the only loose-leaf tea I have has been in the cabinet for 3-4 years and I have no idea what it is). 42 to be exact, because I'm like that.

My chai ended up a bit weak. It's probably b/c I just cut out the ginger instead of replacing it with one of the other ingredients. Next time I'll probably do 3 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp nutmeg.

The recipe suggest French pressing your chai (I'll assume you know what the French press method is and not explain; otherwise, you can Google it). 1 tsp to 3/4 cup water. I think that was weak, but I'm not a French press fan. I like the idea of a cold-brew toddy to make concentrate.

The concentrate recipe I got from this site suggests:
5 oz. chai
1 gallon (nearly) boiling water

I did 2.5 oz. to 2 quarts boiling water (because I didn't have a gallon jug available). It says to put the tea straight in with the water. let it set for an hour (no more than 2), then strain it into another jug. The problem here is the straining. It's not easy if your tea is a find ground and you don't have a sieve. However, I do have large coffee filters so what I did was rubber band a coffee filter to the top of my pitcher and slowly pour the concentrate in. Next time, tho, I think I'll just try making a large tea bag with one of the coffee filters and not let it be loose in the water.

Oh, and about that 1-2 hours. I let the tea brew for an hour and it was super weak. Back when I was a barista we would make a cold-brew toddy and let it sit 8-12 hours (usually we'd make one before closing up and it would be ready by morning). So that's what I did. I let it sit all night in the fridge (tho, on the counter would have been fine and probably better).

So, if you go for the concentrate method, once it's ready, when you fix your drink you'll want to make it a 1:1 ratio chai and milk (I made mine with half and half). You'll also want to add some kind of sweetener if you're going for the chai Latte flavor.

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