Important note— chai is a delicious and nourishing drink, but its history is tied with brutal colonialism. I believe we can still enjoy the benefits of the tea, but it’s important to acknowledge the people and the struggle that birthed it.
I keep a batch of chai in the house at all times, iced in the summer and simmered on the stove when it's cooler, but the flavors are perfect for fall.
These are rough guidelines, no measuring needed! Adjust quantities and add or subtract ingredients as you please. I never actually measure anything, so go with your gut.
I get all my spices in the bulk section, it's way cheaper than the pre-packaged jars. And if you don’t have the fresh version of any of these spices on hand, sub in powdered!)
I usually make about 8 cups at a time, just enough to fill a half gallon mason jar:
~9 c. water (some will boil off)
a few cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon peppercorns (increases the bioavailability of the turmeric)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1" sliced fresh ginger
1" sliced fresh turmeric (even my local hippie grocery store doesn't always stock this, so I often sub in powdered turmeric. Can’t recommend this one from Diaspora enough.)
freshly grated nutmeg (it's a great anti-inflammatory)
black tea— I use 3 teabags for 8 cups so it’s not super caffeinated
milk (fresh cashew milk is my favorite*)
honey to taste
Simmer everything except the tea, honey, and milk for about 20 minutes, remove from heat, and add the tea. Let it steep for about 5 minutes, then strain. I add the milk and honey to taste with each cup.
*Homemade sprouted cashew milk is super easy! Soak 1 cup of raw cashews for about 8 hours, then blend with 4 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and a bit of honey. No straining required!