When making chai, what is your water to milk ratio? When I make a chai latte w/ powered mix I always use all milk unless I add espresso to it, but what about loose leaf chai tea? 1:1? 1:2? All milk? I’ve had some chai that tasted like it was chai flavored watery milk, but doing all milk I don’t think would work as the steeping liquid needs to be boiling and milk doesn’t boil- it scortches. The watery milk thing doesn’t work for me. I’m VERY texture oriented. I can’t stand chai latte mix or hot cocoa made in just water- only if that “water” is coffee. Also, what is your tea to spice ratio? 1:1? 2:1? 3:1? Other?
I use 1:1. I make my own chai. First i make a really strong base tea with good Assam, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and cardamom pods… then I steep the milk with the ginger and honey. It’s seems like a big process, but always worth it. I try to make the tea super strong so it doesn’t loose much to the milk. But I like the 50/50 ratio. I love the silkiness of chai with alot of milk.
Here’s my traditional method: bring 2 cups water to a low boil. Add two table spoons of sugar. I like to use brown sugar with my chai teas. Stir in until sugar is totally dissolved. Add two heaping spoons of your chai…a little more or less depending on your tastes. Let everything boil for about 10 minutes…this cracks open all of the pods and spices. Add 2 cups of milk. Whole milk is ideal. I used a cup of skim milk and a cup of cream in my Thai Chai (Adagio) review. Delish! But DO try to use a milk with fat in it. Adding the milk will halt the boiling process for a few minutes. Let the mix all start to boil again. Watch your milk and stir stir stir! I let mine all boil together for about 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes (or longer if you can wait. it just keeps getting better) and you are good to go enjoy a fab cup. This makes about 2-3 average mugs. I keep the ratio the same when I make larger quantities.
That’s exactly what I do. E.X.A.C.T.L.Y.
This would probably be more freaky if it weren’t the traditional method. It’s worked very well for me so far, though!
That’s exactly how I do it. Although I haven’t tried Adagio’s, I would definitely recommend Samovar’s version. I’ve had about 3 tins worth and it’s always completely different. Mix in with your favorite black tea and it’s phenomenal.
Yep, this way is awesome. You can always halve this recipe to get out of it one cup, of course! So awesome, though. LURVE CHAI.
Today’s SSI makes me think… What’s the difference between Kashmiri and Masala chais? The base tea? The spices? The preparation? Something else?
Kashmiri chai is made with green tea, whereas regular chai is made with black tea. Chai just means “tea” in many Indian languages. Masala means “spice mix”. So, Indians say “masala chai” to describe (black) tea boiled with a spice mix.
Here’s great info from Tao of Tea (they have a REALLY cute chaiware set too!):
Brewing Chai Indian Style
Although, there are many recipes and styles for making traditional boiled chai, the method we like to use (with added instructions for sugar/dairy
Use one teaspoon of 500 Mile Chai for eight ounces water. Bring to full
boil for three minutes. Add whole milk / soy milk (in ratio of 1/4th
milk to 3/4 water), and let boil another two minutes. Strain and
sweeten to taste.
When using alternatives to white sugar:
For jaggery or raw sugar, add it after the milk returns to a boil,
stir, and allow it to disolve before serving. Honey (especially raw
honey) should be added after the chai is completely finished or served
with the chai and added to each cup to taste. You can use stevia in the
For soy or rice milk, do not allow it to return to boil. Remove from
heat just as the leaf and spices began to re-circulate to the top of
the pan. Most soy and rice milks will separate when boiled.
Here’s a great chai recipe for your crock pot!
2 quarts water
8 bags black tea
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
16 whole cloves
16 whole cardamom seeds, pods removed
5 sticks cinnamon
8 slices fresh ginger
1 cup milk
1.Combine water, tea, sugar, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger in the slow cooker; cook on High for 2 – 2 ½ hours or Low 3-5 hours.
2.Strain mixture; discard solids. (May be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
3.Stir in milk just before serving. Serve warm or chilled.
Ooh, I may have to try this, the crock pot thing sounds too awesome! Anyone know any good sources for purchasing cardamom seeds? My local grocer’s don’t have them. Everything else for making my own spiced chai though.
Cardamom seeds are a rare find, my local Safeway carry’s Morton and Basset’s Cardamom in the pods, pretty pricey for a small jar though. Your best luck is a bulk supplier. Rarely do places like Whole Foods carry them in the bulk isle. Cardamom will keep well as long as their in the pod and sealed away.
Cardamom seeds! I was trying to remember what those black things my mom puts in chai are, because I couldn’t find them at the store/didn’t know what to look for. I used to grind them up in a mortar and pestle when I was a kid helping my mom make tea…ah, memories…
Cardamom – and just about any spice – can be found at Penzey’s! They do mail order if you don’t have a local store. Their spices are more expensive when compared to what you get at the grocery store, but they’re worth the extra price! So much more flavorful!
Here’s how I do chai:
Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. Add several slices of fresh ginger, 1/2 spoon of whole peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, and some crush cardamom seeds. Let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes. After that, switch the stove off and add your chai tea. Steep for however you like—I prefer 4 minutes or so. Strain, add your choice of milk and brown sugar. I’m lactose intolerant so I don’t add much milk; maybe a spoon or so. If I had to pick a non-dairy product I would use almond milk.
Indonique has chai brewing instructions here http://www.indonique.com/cupofchai.php
plus a video online of making stovetop chai using the method of an “authentic Indian wife” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ddjux4FQss&feature=player_embedded
Does anyone use a milk frother/warmer like the cordless one from Bella that Target sells?
I have a little hand-held milk frothier from republic of tea – I don’t think it adds much to the tea but it makes it seem fancy – haha
I have a hand-held one as well but honestly? I’m way too much of a flippin klutz to use it which is why I asked about ^ that- although I need an 8oz capacity one.
Haha – that sounds like me – my tea workspace is generally surrounded by paper towels
I do not simmer my chai in milk or even a combination of milk and water. It’s simply too messy. Maybe that sounds a bit lazy, but, I have two kids and a husband (so, in other words, three kids) that I have to keep up with and clean up after, not to mention a business to run (yes, I am closing it, but I still have a lot of stuff to do before that’s final) and cleaning up a milk infused mess just isn’t the way I want to spend my time – at any time.
The only tea that I will heat milk for (other than steaming a small amount to use for my lattes) is Pirate’s Chai… and this may be in part because “it’s worth it” but I think it’s more because it’s only heating milk to make a bowl of matcha and not actually steeping tea leaves in milk.
In fact, it’s because I don’t like to steep in milk that I embarked upon about a year-long journey to create my Masterpiece Chai blend, a blend that could be brewed in water similar to the way you’d brew any other tea, and then adding milk to it without dulling the flavor of the tea.
So that is what I do when I make chai… I brew it the same way as I would any other tea, right in my smart brewing device. One exception, though, I do add a little extra leaf when I brew it, to compensate not only for the spices in the blend but also for the fact that I do add milk (milk doesn’t dull the flavor, but I don’t want to dilute it either)
And… yes, I do use a milk frother, I like the texture of a frothed, steamed milk better than that of just a steamed milk … but, I don’t use a milk warmer.
It is a messy process! I think the stove version would be a lot less messy, but as I’m a short person in a wheelchair, the microwave is my only option right now. But I LOVE my chai so I do it anyway:) I brew my chai in my smart brewer as well (well Adagio’s version) using 4g instead of the 2.25 I do w/ a lot of other teas then just nuke my milk… which doesn’t turn out most of the time lol.
Does anyone simmer the spices in milk and/or water first before adding the tea? I think this would give the best results, but I haven’t had time to experiment lately. I tried a few times simmering about 5-10 minutes before adding the tea, but it never seemed to get spicy enough for me. I’ve since seen directions for using whole spices and simmering for about an hour.
I might give it a try, since I have a ton of whole spices sitting in my cabinet. An Indian grocery is the place to go for big bags of spices at good prices. For large bags, you might want to split them up with a friend so you have a chance of using them before the start to get stale.