Homemade Chai Concentrate

whole spicesNow that the holiday season is finally upon us, Starbucks has really upped its advertising of its holiday drinks. PSL. Caramel apple cider. Peppermint mocha. Chai has always been on the menu, but it is a great cold weather drink that I especially love during the winter.

At Starbucks, its typically over $5 for a worthwhile size of any of their amazing drinks (I can’t hold myself back and usually order a venti). I’ve been trying to shy away from their fancy drinks due to the price and also considering I’ve heard that the pumpkin spice latte doesn’t even contain any pumpkin (??!). However, along with being ridiculously expensive, Starbucks’ chai is too sweet for me AND too spicy. Not the good spice either, just too much straight pepper. This summer I experimented with making chai, but not until yesterday did I make the perfect recipe. This summer I used a coffee filter as a tea bag and put in all ground spices. It worked, but was eh. Then the second time, I bought all whole spices, boiled them, and drained them out at the end. I used too much spice and it was a little overwhelming. This time, I cut the amount of spice and was pleasantly surprised. Chai is a great cold weather staple, whether served warm or cold or dirty (meaning with coffee ok nothing bad). I was really surprised at how EASY this was to make!IMG_2614 The chai is made with black tea. This is a chai concentrate, so when serving, use same parts chai as water, tea, milk, or coffee. This can be served warm or iced. I used a combination of almond milk and coffee this morning and it was delicious. Enjoy!

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Chai Concentrate

4 cups of water

12 crushed cardamom pods

10 whole black peppercorns

10 whole cloves

4 inch piece of ginger, sliced up

2 cinnamon sticks

4 whole allspice

3 star anise

1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoons brown sugar/honey

3-4 black tea bags

Bring all ingredients except the teabags to a boil. Turn down to medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add teabags and let sit for 10 minutes. Pour the blend through a strainer and into a container.

Mix equal parts concentrate with water, tea, milk, or coffee. Refrigerate for up to a week.

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