New to chai!
my burmese roommate showed me how she made her chai. she added the sugar early to give it time (to caramelize maybe) to the pot and you also add the milk and loose tea a couple minutes or so before turning off the heat. you gotta stir the mix regularly and dont let the milk boil :)
First thing, chai taste is going to vary wildly with the mix you use.
The way I do it is on stovetop. If I am feeling really really indulgent I use just milk, if not I use a bit of water in the milk – I eye it. I use more liquid than what I want to drink, because some will evaporate during simmering. And the pot I use is important, I use a tall pot with a thick bottom, so it can simmer without overflowing.
So say 50% more liquid than what you want to use, in a tall pot with thick bottom. When milk starts to boil (foam) add a little bit of brown sugar or honey to taste and the tea – add a lot more than you would for regular tea. For a cup of chai I use 3 teaspoons – it won´t get insanely strong, the milk makes the tea transfer to the milk a lot weaker than if it was just plain water. Mix well, and let it simmer uncovered on minimum flame for some 5 or 10 minutes. Strain and if you want whisk it to get foamy.
I loathe milk but that actually sounds yummy, I think because of the brown sugar or honey you mention. My favourite chai experience was the chai latte at the Farmer’s Market, it had a sweetness that reminded me of gingerbread or molasses cookies and I think the sugar is what did it!
Uniquity, if you usually loathe milk, preparing lattes with almond or coconut milk is an alternative to dairy milk-that’s what I usually do. Anything called latte would have some type of milk in it, since latte by definition refers to steamed milk. cteresa, your recipe sounds good.
Chai without milk is not the same thing :) But as Donna says, maybe with coconut or oat milk or something it might be good as well – add less liquid then, the thing about this recipe is that the 10 minutes or so boiling the milk and sugar in a thick bottom pan, it caramelizes the sugar (including natural sugars in milk) and evaporates some water so it concentrates the liquid. I sometimes go through total chai obsession phases.
My favorite chai mix is a bit pricey to prder from the blender and not reliable to find always, particularly since I use so much of the dry lead for a cup. I have been trying all chais I could get and so far my second best chai mixes have been homemade – I took the spice mix from my favorite chai (ceylon cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamom in my case but it will depend from person to person) and some plain black tea (local) and followed my nose – it worked!