Chai on the Go!!!
I love chai but whenever I make chai it ends up being a lot of work. Any easy ways of making chai without too much work???
If you’re making it from scratch, you could just buy a chai pre-mixed. Adagio’s Masala Chai is good, and Tazo’s and Stash’s are also decent. I myself haven’t found it to be too difficult, either loose-leaf or bagged, but I’ve never done the whole “throw a bunch of spices into a pot of milk” method.
hey michelle, i like to make it from tea leaves with spices or tea bags but the messy part is getting them to boil then adding the milk and boiling again. Once that is done straining them off, so for one cup of tea its lots of work, but the chai is fantastic.
Aha. I don’t make chai too often, but when I do I usually boil water, add tea, then just add cold milk or milk warmed in the microwave and frothed with a stick frother. I’m lazy though, and not a chai expert.
It all depends upon how you make it. I don’t usually steep my chai using the stovetop method – it’s too messy and too much trouble. I brew my chai the same way I’d brew any other tea – with water. I usually use double the amount of leaf to make a richer flavor (and to accommodate for the milk that I will add once it’s brewed). I have a small frothing tool that I picked up a few years ago, it was affordable and made my chai even better, and I think it has definitely been worth the purchase, even though I hate gadgets. But I don’t really consider my frother a gadget, I consider it a necessary tool for tea making. :)
Anyway, it’s really easy to make chai – just need to find a good chai that does well when brewed in water, and use double leaf… much simpler, quicker, and less messy. Win, Win, Win!
hey liberteas this method sounds a bit better than mine, the one thing i was taught growing up in india ..is for making good chai the milk and the tea need to be boiled together after the tea has been brewed. In your method the frothing machine adds the milk to the chai but they are not boiled together, I have seen that at Starbucks …I have to give it a try.
Yes… and I will admit that the old fashioned chai method does produce a tastier cup in most cases. But, for me, that itty bit of tastiness does not outweigh the messy task of stovetop chai. And there are a lot of chai blends out there now that taste very good – even almost as good – when brewed in water the way I described above. It might mean doing a little sampling to find your favorite, but, that’s part of the fun, I think.
You could go the way that lots of coffee-houses do it? Make a large batch of concentrate on the weekend and store it in a large mason jar in the fridge. Then, when you want a glass or a thermos-full on the go, add your milk-product and/or sweetener of choice, heat, and go!
This method gets all of the straining out of the way ahead of time, which leaves only the messiness of reboiling the brew with your milk.
To make a big batch (gallon) of tea, you need a large bowl that can stand boiling water (I’ve used a metal one in the past, but it definitely needs a trivet! just don’t use plastic). Throw the tea in loose (I just extrapolate from what I use for a cup up to a gallon.. if you use a tablespoon and a bit for your teapot, and your big mason jar is about 5 teapots in volume, you’ll need at least six or seven tablespoons of your chai. You might want you tea stronger because you’re adding milk, just as LiberTEAS suggests, so you’ll want to use even more leaf, but steeped for not quite as long… unless your chai has an excellent black tea base that doesn’t go bitter easily). Then pour in the boiling water. Steep 3-5 minutes or to taste.
Use hot-pot holders or thick cloth to hold the steeping bowl! Take a colander and place it over a bowl that’s easy to pour from (or right over your mason jar). Or, if you have good aim and no colander, you can set a brew basket in the middle of your second bowl and pour into the middle of the basket (it should catch most of the leaf/etc).
Take that strained tea and pour it into your mason jar or any covered vessel and put it in the fridge.
Just like LiberTEAS, Coffee houses will usually use a frothing wand to heat the milk and reheat the concentrate. If you don’t have one or aren’t interested in one, you could heat just want you want over the stove top or (if you’re careful) you could use a microwave.
Making a big batch ahead of time would give you flexibility in case you were in the mood for a iced chai instead. If it’s going to be really hot and terrible and you know you’ll want cold stuff all week, then add the sweetener ahead of time so it can mix in while the brew is hot (it doesn’t mix well in the cold beverages generally). Or you could go with a naturally sweeter milk product like sweet cream or vanilla soymilk and do a cold-brew overnight of your chai. If you do a cold brew, you don’t actually have to take out the tea, since it won’t get bitter.
Either way, fill you cup partway with ice, then fill that cup almost all the way with tea. Leave a bit of room on top, then pour in the milk-stuffs. Stir.. enjoy.
Thanks Spoonvonstup. I am encouraged by the methods…next weekend have to give it a try.
Let us know how it turns out and if you find a favorite “on the go” method!
This is my ultimate lazy chai preparation. http://www.publicradio.org/columns/splendid-table/recipes/drink_chai.html
If I’m super lazy I just add a bit of garam masala to taste instead measuring out the individual spices.