Adding milk to tea... and avoiding fataliTEAS.
I love milk in my chai… I also steep my tea in boiling water which means I normally boil the water, steep it, decant, (or just add the tea in the case of instant chai), then add the milk because I don’t want to scorch or curdle the milk. I just got a Pampered Chef e-mail w/ the tip of “When boiling milk, first stir in a pinch of baking soda. This will help keep the milk from curdling.” While the thought of adding baking soda is weird, and even a bit icky, does it work? Is it really possible to boil milk?
I love to steep my chai in milk. I dont use water at all.I just watch the milk carefully to prevent scorching. Another option is to use a double boiler to heat the milk. This way steam is the only heat source to touch the heating container.
I boil milk all the time for my mashed potatoes and baking. The first thing to note is that you cannot boil cold milk. I pour the amount of milk I want into a cup and let is start to come to room temperature a bit, until it is not frigid to the touch. Then I put it in a pan over a medium to low heat and stir constantly. The milk will never come to a rolling boil but you will start to see bubbles especially on the edges of the pan. I stir with a flexible spatula becuase you need to be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan occasionally. I never pour in baking soda.
Even better you can boil heavy whipping cream :)
We make chai everyday at least twice a day, for us (me, wife & kids) and for local Yoga studios to whom we deliver our Chai to.
We always boil half water, half milk with our mix of assam, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon & cloves…and so they do in the streets of India…its not a problem at all, but you do have to keep an eye on the mik as it will come to the surface very quick and you can end up with a big mess.
Just wait for it to boil and then let it simmer for 3-5 min. Adding fresh grated ginger can curd the milk sometimes, it depends on how juicy the ginger is.
All of these are great ideas for how to accomplish the goal. Has anyone experimented with soymilks and other non-dairy options? Perhaps those with less sugar added? Does it make a difference?
Soy milk is great with chai….especially those that are pre-sweetened such as a concentrate.
I actually am allergic to an enzyme/preservative in many dairy products, so I have to opt for soy milk. I use the “no sugar added” Silk variety, and I think that works best with chai. While I normally do add a sweetener to my teas (I’ve got a sweet tooth!) I typically don’t with chais. However, I do steep chais for longer than I do brew other teas, and sometimes need soy milk to balance it out. I’ve noticed a better, spicier taste with the “no sugar added” Silk.
Just putting in my two cents! :)
I bring my water & milk (2:1) to the boil, add the tea and whatever else is going in (ginger/cardamom/peppercorns/chillie/cinnamon/cloves/chocolate/bay leaf/whathaveyou), then simmer for approx 2min .. After that I let it sit off heat for another couple of minutes before decanting into a coffee press (just easy to pour from) .. And for the record my ‘milk’ could be cows, soy, or coconut – I’ve yet to have anything curdle in years of making it this way ?!