So Succulent Gardens

  (Columbia Station, Ohio)
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Steamy Hot Chai Tea this Winter

     There is no end to the diversity of recipes for making your own chai at home. Brewing chai is fun and allows you to experiment until you get it 'just right' for your own personal taste.
     Chai is basically black tea brewed with selected spices and your chose of low fat, soy, or whole milk. The aroma of spices shouldn't be overpowering; it should be almost like an incense experience. 
Make and use your spice mix by weight. For best results, use whole or broken spices, not ground!
To make 3 ½ ounces, start with about an ounce of shelled green cardamon and a half ounce of cinnamon bark. Then make up the balance of the weight from your favorites from this list; Whole Black pepper HOT, Ginger HOT,  Cloves, Coriander seed, Mace, Nutmeg, Star anise, Fennel, Bay leaf or Vanilla bean (vanilla extract). Some folks stew/boil the tea with the spices. Others stew the spices with the sugar or honey, then add and brew the tea, then add the milk. I like this slightly thickened texture.  I make it this way, stews the spices, then adds and brews the tea, strain, add honey  (at this point I can put extra in fridge)then stir in the hot milk.  It's your choice.

CHAI TEA BASE (to prepare six servings).
 4 T. whole spices. 
 ½ cup dark brown sugar or honey
 4 cups water
Remove from heat. Stir in: 2 T black tea or 3 T rooiboos
Bring to boil, simmer 15 minutes, strain. You can refrigerate this base up to a week. To serve, heat the base, add 1/4 to ½ to an equal amount of heated milk, (you may preheat milk 5 minutes in microwave - it foams). Stir well, serve with a sprinkle of cardamom.

CHAI TEA for 20-24 servings
 3 ½ ounces mixed whole chai spices (about 1 cup)
 1 ½ ounces black tea (about ½ cup)
 3-4 quarts water
 1 ½ cup brown sugar or honey
Brew and strain using one of the three methods discussed above, stir in: 2 quarts whole milk, scalded.

If you need to find bulk herb, spices and tea,  I carry a over 400 varietes at my website:   for more.


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