Easy Chai Tea Recipe – Explore The Background, Flavor & Recipe For Chai
One of the most incredible aspects of tea is its diversity in uses. Tea obviously can be used as a beverage, but Fresh Steeps wants to help educate on the many other way’s tea can be consumed…specifically with recipes!
Each tea can be used to create a delectable sweet or savory homemade treat. Fresh Steeps will provide the background of the ingredients, flavor profiles and of course the recipe for this easy chai tea recipe!
Chai Tea Background
Did you know that the name of tea has two origins? It does! The two names of origin are “te” and “cha”. Both originally from China, but spread differently. “Cha” spread via land while “te” spread via sea! So…how does this relate to chai tea? Well, “chai” is the Hindi word for tea, derived from “cha”!
Chai tea dates back more than 5000 years, when a king in what is now India ordered a special medicinal herb blend to aid his ailments. This process of healing was known as Ayurveda. This process incorporated spices and herbs such as ginger, clove, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise. All has special healing properties from digestive help to mood elevation!
As this healing beverage spread across India, it became more popular among everyone!
Originally, the use of black tea was not incorporated into this delicious mix. The spices were simply boiled in water to create the delectable beverage. The addition of milk, sugar and black tea was incorporated in the mid-1800s when Camellia sinensis assamica, a black tea variation, when the British began to colonize India. This spread the chai we love today!
Flavor Profile of Chai
There are many variations due to the travel and spread of the original chai recipe throughout India. This has led to different spices being incorporated and thus different flavors!
Chai tea made heavy with ginger and black peppercorn tend to leave a strong and soothing heat in the consumer throat. Those recipes containing more vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg may leave a sweeter note in the consumer’s palette!
Other less popular types include saffron or cacao which can impart an earthy bitterness to the chai. For a savory note in your tea, try adding fennel and cumin as well!
The flavor can constantly change depending on the ingredients used. Let’s look at how we made our chai tea!
Chai Concentrate Recipe
This recipe is used to make a chai tea concentrate. You can use this concentrate to add to milk, water, oatmeal and more to add a delicious and warming spiced chai flavor!
Total time: 30 minutes
- 12 cardamom pods, gently crushed
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- 8 whole cloves
- 4 inch piece of ginger, peeled & sliced
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole allspice
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 vanilla bean, cut in half
- 1/4 tsp of shaved nutmeg
- 4 cups of filtered water
- 4 black tea bags
Prepare all the ingredients for use. Peel and slice the ginger root, gently crush the cardamom pods, and cut the vanilla bean.
Add the water to a pot on the stove.
Add every spice to the water and begin to boil. DO NOT ADD THE TEA YET.
Note* If the tea is added too early, it will be over steeped and create a sharp & bitter taste.
Bring the water with the spices to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add the black tea bags & steep for 5 minutes.
Take the finished concentrate & filter into a heat-resistant container. (I used a quart sized mason jar).
Refrigerate & enjoy the concentrate with milk, water, oatmeal or anything, for up to a week!
Chai is an ancient spice mixture that was loved for its healing and medicinal properties. After becoming popularized and spread with globalization the intent and flavor profile changed!
Now you can find chai tea everywhere in all variations. Using chai with milk and sugar to make a latte or simply with water to make tea or even incorporating in your favorite baked goods for a warm and spicy delight.
Let us know what you would do with your chai tea concentrate and what you loved about this easy chai tea recipe in the comments below!